James “Jim” Fitzgerald, age 76, of Cookstown, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, October 18, 2020. He was born in Newberry, Michigan to Fannie and the late Robert Fitzgerald on July 8, 1944. After high school Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force and proudly served his country during the Vietnam War. In 1980, Jim met the love of his life, Vatina and the two were later married in 1981. Jim spent most of his life serving the community through the local VFW and making what many say is the best breakfast around. Jim worked from sun up to sun down at Jim’s Amoco/Jims Repair Shop, his successful auto repair business that he built from the ground up. His smile was contagious and instantly warmed any room. You always knew where you stood with Jim, but also that you could handle anything if Jim stood by your side. There wasn’t a car that he couldn’t fix, an omelette he couldn’t make, a stronger handshake, a brighter smile or a bigger heart than Jim’s. Jim is known for always greeting you with “Morning, Morning, Morning”! And goodbye with “see y’all later, Folks!”. Jim was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Jim is predeceased by his father, Robert Fitzgerald; by his first wife, Darla May two brother-in-law’s, Carl and JR, a niece Dana Hacker and nephew Corey Pritchett.
He leaves behind his adored wife, Vatina Fitzgerald (nee Hacker) of Cookstown; his children, Darla Jean Fitzgerald (Ellis Stillwell, Jr.) of New Egypt, James H. Fitzgerald (Lori) of Bordentown, Michelle Malinak (Steven) of Pennsauken, Christina Ford (Robert) of Cookstown, Ashley Dunn (James) of Cookstown, and a young man Shannon Roberts who he loved like a son; his mother, Fannie Aslin of Michigan; his 10 grandchildren, JR, Jake, AJ, Jojo, Eddie, Christopher, Isabel, Makalah, Abby and Brayden; his sisters, Maryann Belonga, Diane Menzia (Jerry) and Roberta Chippewa; his brother-in-law’s, Robert Hacker, Jr. (Toni) of Eastampton, Kenneth Hacker of Cookstown, Donald Hacker (Susan) of Burlington, Bobby Still (Brenda) of Maryland; his sister-in-law’s, Twila Pritchett (Carey) of Cookstown, Kathy Boesch (Tom) of Cookstown and Dawn “Missy” Minnick of Texas; along with several nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 1PM to 4PM at the Tilghman Funeral Home, located at 52 Main Street, New Egypt, NJ 08533. Interment will be held private at the convenience of the family. Immediately following the services at the funeral home, the family has invited everyone to gather back at the Cookstown VFW. An honorary procession will be held for Jim for those who would like to pay him a final tribute. We ask that you arrive at the funeral home no later than 4:15PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s memory to either the Cookstown VFW Post 6590, 22 Wrightstown-Cookstown Road, Cookstown, NJ 08511 or to the American Cancer Society, at www.cancer.org. Due to COVID-19, facial coverings and social distancing are required with a maximum of 25 people inside the funeral home at a time.