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Obituary of Charles R Fitzgibbons
Charles Raymond Fitzgibbons passed away on July 29 in Solon, Iowa, at the age of 89. He battled Dementia and Alzheimer’s for over 5 years and experienced a rapid decline in health over the last 6 months. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Johanna Fitzgibbons, as well as their 5 children, Ferron Coutentos (Beanz), Kathy Lamb (Karla), Laurie Hoyer (Jeff), Susan Murphy (Paul), and Paul Fitzgibbons (Tasha); 10 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. Charles, aka “Chuck”, “Papa Chuck”, “Cheerful Charlie - Champion of the Good Guys” will be remembered for his quick wit, dedication to family, a passion for watching his children and grandchildren play sports, and the desire to strike up a conversation with anyone willing to engage. Born in the Great Depression in Sioux City, Iowa, Chuck spent most of his childhood in Des Moines, where he was a devout member of the Catholic church and started working at a young age to help his family make ends meet. He was drafted into the Korean War and served in the Marines before attending college at Drake University and eventually graduated from the University of Iowa. Chuck moved to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in the late 1950s to be the Personnel Director at the state’s Mental Health Institute (MHI) and served in that role for 29 years. Chuck met his future wife, Johanna, when she applied for a job at MHI. Inappropriate hiring practices are still under investigation, as she was hired as a kitchen cook with very little experience. Johanna and Chuck were married in 1959, raised 5 children, and were heavily involved in the community and sporting activities. Chuck served on the Mt. Pleasant City Council, played men’s softball, coached little league baseball, was instrumental in starting the town’s girls’ softball league, and developed his own unique golf swing. Chuck and Johanna (also known as Grandma Joey) moved to Idaho in 1988 to take care of Joey’s aging parents; they moved back to Iowa in 2006 and settled in North Liberty to be closer to family. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Solon Retirement Village Memory Care Unit are welcomed in recognition of the great care they took of Chuck, especially during these challenging times with COVID. Private family services will be held. To share a thought, memory or condolence with Chuck’s family please visit the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com.