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Barbara Elizabeth Fitzsimmons

May 17, 2020
Barbara Elizabeth Fitzsimmons
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Obituary for Barbara Elizabeth Fitzsimmons

Barbara Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, mother of four, grandmother to 12 died in Madison, NJ on Sunday, May 17, 2020. Barbara was born in Jersey City to Alvin and Agnes Somers on September 19, 1935 and had one beloved sister, Rosanne. Barbara raised her family with her husband Jim in Livingston, and lived the remainder of her years in Convent Station. Barbara graduated high school from Saint Dominic’s Academy, and was a graduate of Caldwell College in 1957. Barbara Elizabeth Somers married James J. Fitzsimmons, Jr. on May 19, 1962 and celebrated 54 years of marriage together before Jim passed away 5 years ago. Barbara had four children, Mary Lynne, Jimmy, Carol and Colleen. Barbara’s children were the light of her life, and she loved her 12 grandchildren just as deeply. Barbara was an incredibly bright and curious woman, with a strong belief in education and making the world a better place. Barbara had two Masters Degrees in Education which she received from Seton Hall University before becoming a teacher at Summit Middle School and finishing her career as a professor of English & Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison. Barbara was an energetic thinker & doer. While attending Caldwell College, Barbara was crowned the May Queen honored as a young woman of grace and distinction. Barbara was nurtured in her Catholic teaching and lived her faith in all that she did. She authored a book for St. Philomena’s Church and wrote grants for learning disabled students for the state of New Jersey. She founded a women’s volunteer group for the Archdiocese of Newark called “Heart Beat”, where hundreds of women assisted in good causes. Barbara was a woman of action, which resulted in her receiving the highest honor at Caldwell University, the Veritas Award after having served on the Board of Trustees for many years. In Barbara’s retirement years, she founded and organized a women’s rosary group which she hosted weekly at her home for over 20 years. Above all else, Barbara cared about her family. She loved being with Jim and their children and grandchildren. She was a terrific hostess and gathered all of her family for Sunday dinners, birthdays and holidays. She taught her family about the importance of faith and how it can positively impact one’s life. In her personal time, Barbara had a great love for her garden and served on the landscaping committee of the Moore Estates where she resided until just a few years ago. Barbara enjoyed playing golf at Essex County Country Club and had many good friendships there as well as in Livingston, and the Moore Estates. Barbara and Jim loved to travel, go to the Jersey shore, and discuss current affairs. She loved the stimulation of an intellectual conversation and was quite the conversationalist herself. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. Barbara is survived by her children; Mary Lynne, Jimmy, Carol, Colleen, spouses and partners; Mark Mullican, Michael Cortese, & Mary Donohue; grandchildren; Ryan & Claire Mullican, Sean, Chad & Rachel Simons, James, Andrew, Braden & Molly Fitzsimmons, and Bridget, Connor & Caroline Cortese and many lifelong friends. Due to this remarkable time, a Catholic Mass for Barbara will be scheduled for a later date. Barbara’s family can provide details to those interested in attending.

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