Benjamin O. Fitzgerald, 84: Longtime Bath policeman

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BATH — Benjamin O. Fitzgerald, 84, formerly a longtime officer with the Bath Police Department, died Jan. 21 in Dunnellon, Fla.

He was born in 1928 in Canaan to Susie and Benjamin O. Fitzgerald. He married his sweetheart, Margaret, in 1947, and the two were married 66 years.

Fitzgerald’s professional career was in law enforcement. He worked 25 years with the Bath police, rising to the rank of sergeant. For the next seven years, he served as chief of police in Wiscasset. He attended several law enforcement and military police schools during his professional career, including schools at Babson College in Massachusetts, Yucca Flats Test Area in Mercury, Nev., and at Fort McClellan in Alabama. He was a life member of the Maine Chief of Police Association.

During his law enforcement years, Fitzgerald was involved with a group of young men interested in hot rods, known as the “Road Angels.” Being a presence in the community was very important to him.

Like many other officers, Fitzgerald had to supplement his income, and his entrepreneurial career was varied. In his early years, he drove trucks for Sam Prawer & Co., and later he took on an LP bottled gas company, Fitzgerald’s Maine Gas. He was well known for plowing snow in downtown Bath, owned and operated several garages, and with his wife also owned and operated Richards Restaurant in Bath for seven years.

It was at the restaurant where he instilled in his children a strong work ethic. Fitzgerald will always be remembered for how hard he worked.

In his private time he decided to learn how to fly, and eventually c0-owned an airplane with Bob Dingley. His children each have fond memories of those flying experiences.

Having grown up on a farm, Fitzgerald always had a love of animals. No matter the critter, animals were some of his best friends. During his retirement, Fitzgerald and his wife also enjoyed traveling and met a lot of other friends, as they drove in their “Little Winn” motor home from Maine to Arizona, Texas and Florida.

Fitzgerald is survived by three children and their spouses, Darlene and Terry Markham, Cynthia Thibodeau and Tom Cote, and Benjamin and Irene Fitzgerald; grandchildren Shawn and Jennifer Markham, Nicolas and Bobbie Thibodeau, Lisa Thibodeau, Todd Fitzgerald, and Troy and Stephanie Fitzgerald; and great-grandchildren Samantha, Morgan, Kiley, Cole and Ian.

Fitzgerald lost two sons in 2008, Ronald Fitzgerald and Dwight Fitzgerald.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main St., Fairfield. The memorial will be followed by a committal service at Fairview Cemetery on Route 23N in Canaan, with participation by the Bath Police Department Color Guard.