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Walter J. Fitzmaurice

1923 ~ 2024 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Walter Fitzmaurice Obituary

Walter J. Fitzmaurice, 100, a former longtime resident of North Reading, MA, passed away
peacefully on January 10, 2024. He was the loving husband of Lorraine Mae (Martelle)
Fitzmaurice for nearly 75 years.

Born on November 2, 1923 in Rumford, Maine, Walter was the son of Joseph and Alma (Poulin)
Fitzmaurice. He graduated from Stephens High School in Rumford and was drafted into service
for the U.S. Army Air Force during the height of World War II. As a Technical Sergeant stationed
at RAF Shipdham in Norfolk, England, Walter proudly served his country as a Radio Operator
and Machine Gunner on Consolidated B-24 Liberators for the Eighth Air Force, 44th Bomb
Group, 68th Squadron. From 1943 until the ending of the war in 1945, he became a veteran of
thirty combat missions over enemy occupied territory in the European-African-Middle Eastern
Theater Campaign. All missions were flown with the renowned General Johnson’s Flying Eight
Balls.

Walter became a highly decorated veteran receiving the Air Medal six times and the
European-African-Middle Eastern Theater ribbon with four Battle Stars. He also received a
Presidential Citation for flying with the 68th from Libya targeting the heavily defended oil fields at
Plesti, Romania. The success of this mission shut down the flow and supply of oil to the Nazi
war machine from the Balkans, a true turning point in the war. Most recently, in 2009, The
Republic of France presented Walter with their highest honor, The Legion of Honor Medal at a
ceremony in Boston Harbor for his participation and bravery during a single plane mission under
the cover of darkness into occupied France to deliver much needed supplies to the French
Resistance.

After his service, Walter attended St. Michael’s College and received a B.S. in Biological
Studies. He met the love of his life, Lorraine, and they married in 1949. After working for the
U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense for over a decade, Walter spent
most of his career as a Food Scientist for Natick Labs. Among other notable research and
development projects for the U.S. Army, he directed Natick Lab’s team whose efforts provided
food for NASA’s first crewed lunar landing on the moon in 1969.

Walter was a true Christian in every way and lived for the love, honor, and glory of God. He was
a daily communicant of St. Theresa’s Church, and it was through this parish, where he found a
loving community of lifelong friends. He enjoyed countless conversations and stories with these
friends during coffee hour after every Mass he attended. He also volunteered for over three
decades teaching Christian Doctrine and was a founding team member of the Rite of Christian
Initiation of Adults.

Together with his wife he helped to raise eight children in North Reading, MA, where they
resided together for over 72 years. He was a loving father and proud of his children. This love
and pride extended to his thirteen grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren and one great great
grandchild. He had a deep spirit of generosity and respect for others, always supporting those
in need with empathy and through numerous charitable organizations. After moving to Rhode
Island in 2020, Walter continued to make friends in his new community with fellow residents and
caregivers and took pride in remembering all of their names. Walter’s family is eternally grateful
to the people at Atria Bay Spring Village, Grand Islander Nursing Center, and Visiting Nurse
Home and Hospice of Portsmouth who shared their time, kindness and heart with him. He
continually said, “I am truly blessed” having them at his side.

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, children Patricia Fitzmaurice, Donna Smith (Robert), Gerard
Fitzmaurice, Sharon Sullivan, Marie Darling, Brenda Migliaccio (Robert), his daughter in law
Judy (Jones) Fitzmaurice and son in law Frank Campilio, as well as his many grandchildren and
great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sisters Shirley (Fitzmaurice) Frothingham and
Ruth (Fitzmaurice) Jobin, brother Donald Fitzmaurice; daughter Catherine Campilio and son
Michael Fitzmaurice.

A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 10:30 am at St. Theresa’s Catholic
Church, with a reception at the Parish Hall to follow. All are welcome to attend.

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Services

Funeral Mass
Saturday
January 27, 2024

10:30 AM
St. Theresa Catholic Church
63 Winter Street
North Reading, MA 01864

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