Isabella Elizabeth (Young) Fitzgerald, of Hingham, MA., took her leave of this world on July 2, 2018 in Hingham, after 94 years, every one of them well lived.
Bella’s husband, Allen Fitzgerald, was 91 when he passed in 2013. The rest of her loving family, her children, Robert Fitzgerald of Bedford, New Hampshire, Lynn Conroy of Hingham; their spouses, Irmela Fitzgerald and James Conroy; her grandchildren, Mark Fitzgerald, Brian Fitzgerald, Christiana Munroe, Erin Conroy, and Scott Conroy; their spouses; and seven great grandchildren mourn her passing. Tragically, in 1944, she lost her only sibling, Robert Jack Young, Jr., to an automobile accident.
Bella was born and raised in Norwich, Connecticut, the first child of her loving parents, Robert Jack and Eva Pepin Young. She lived in Norwich for over 80 years and graduated from the Norwich Free Academy in 1942. Her remaining years were spent at Linden Ponds in Hingham.
Bella was a person who could always be counted on to help others. She devoted ceaseless time and effort not only to many organized charities like F.I.S.H, the Salvation Army, the United Workers of Norwich, the women’s auxiliary of the YMCA, the Norwich Hospital, and the charitable activities of the Norwich Central Baptist Church, but also to friends, neighbors, and strangers who needed help, advice, or consolation, none of which she was ever too busy or too timid to give. Upon the onset of her father’s blindness, she and her husband, Allen, took over his independent insurance agency, the RJ Young Insurance Agency in Norwich, and ran it successfully until their retirement.
Most children of the Great Depression were frugal, and Bella was surely that, driving miles to get a deal on a gallon of milk, but she was very generous with her love, time, and money, giving freely and unselfishly to charities, her children and grandchildren, and caring tirelessly every day for her disabled and aged father and her elderly mother-in-law, difficult though that could be. She was devoted to her husband and cared for him lovingly and unfailingly in her later years.
For most of us, straight answers and honest opinions do not come easily at awkward moments, but awkward or not, no one had to guess what Bella was thinking. She loved to sew, paint, and knit, play scrabble and bridge, drink coffee and the occasional glass of wine (filled to the brim with a couple of ice cubes if you please.) But her greatest passion was tennis. She played until she was 80, dispatching victims half her age with a well-placed, flick wrist serve, and faithfully kept up with the Grand Slam tournaments and players.
All in all, as Bella was first to say, she had a happy, healthy life. Several years ago, a relative remarked with some amazement that Bella had hardly ever been sick in 91 years. “Well,” she replied, “I did have a cold last winter.” She was not a physically imposing woman, but if loving and giving to others is the measure of true success, Bella Fitzgerald stood tall all her life.
A private family service will be held at the Downing Chapel, Hingham, MA., Donations may be made in Bella’s memory to the Alzheimer Foundation of America, www.alzfdn.org or the Salvation Army, www.salvationarmyusa.org