James “Red” Fitzsimmons, 89, of Forest City, died Saturday, August 27, 2022, at the Forest City Nursing and Rehab Center. His wife of 55 years, Janet Beautz Fitzsimmons died in 2010.
Born October 2, 1932, in Forest City, he was the son of the late Francis and Alice Walsh Fitzsimmons. Jim graduated from St. Rose High School and attended East Stroudsburg University. At St. Rose, he was an outstanding basketball player who helped advance the team to the 1951 State Championship game. He played semi-professionally for the Scranton Miners and was inducted into the Chic Feldman Foundation Scranton Area Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for his basketball accomplishments.
Prior to retirement, Jim was the owner of the Fitzsimmons Insurance Agency, starting his career in 1957 and spanning over 50 years. He was a member of Ascension Parish, Forest City, their Holy Name Society, and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Jim enjoyed making chicken on the grill and soups in the kitchen, but his holiday stuffing was a family favorite. His love of travel and camping with his wife, children and friends led him on many trips throughout the U.S. and internationally. Jim was an enthusiastic fan of Drum & Bugle competitions and enjoyed following NCAA basketball. He was a devoted family man that will be greatly missed.
He is survived by three sons James and wife Mary, Browndale; Francis and wife Lorri, Lancaster; and Brian and wife Kristina, Browndale; Two daughters Kathleen and husband Joseph Sterchak, Collegeville, PA; and Maureen and husband Wayne Franco, West Chester, PA; ten grandchildren, Ashley, Logan, Daniel, Matthew, Sara, Benjamin, Emily, Lauren, Jacob and Cooper; four great grandchildren Julianna, Abigail, Owen, and Lucas; several brothers/sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Also preceded in death by four brothers Joseph, Thomas, Robert and Edward; four sisters Rosemary Novak, Ann Turner, Alice Kulick, and Carol Flynn.
Funeral will be Friday at 9:30 from the Kevin M. Lesjack Funeral Home, 513 Main Street, Forest City, with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am in St. Joseph's Church, Forest City. Interment in St. Agnes Cemetery, Forest City. Viewing on Thursday 5-8 pm and Friday from 9 am until time of funeral.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Jim's name to St. Joseph's Center Foundation, 2010 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.
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