1868 – 1943 (June 18)
Robert E. Fitzgerald, one of four sons and five daughters of Patrick Fitzgerald and Ellen Ryan, was born in Emly, County Tipperary, Ireland, on August 20, 1865, and was baptized on August 31 of the same year. He entered the novitiate in Ireland in 1887, was simply professed on November 11, 1888, and was ordained to the priesthood in Ireland on June 9, 1892.
After ordination, Father Fitzgerald did graduate work at the University of Dublin, and later at the University of Wurzburg, where he received his Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 1913. He did parish work in Ireland, England, and later in Australia. In 1918, he came to the United States where he taught chemistry at Villanova College, and was a respected member of his department up until his retirement in 1939.
Father Fitzgerald became affiliated with the American Province in 1923, and was elected a definitor at the Chapter of 1932. He died in Philadelphia's Misericordia Hospital on June 18, 1943 at the age of 75, after suffering for several years from the effects of high blood pressure. He is buried at Villanova in the Community Cemetery.