Cynthia M. Fitzgerald

Cynthia M. Fitzgerald, aged 67, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 2, 2023. She was born Sept. 4, 1956, in Racine, Wis., to Arthur and Dorothy Shockley and graduated from Horlick high school in 1974.

Besides spending time with her family and friends, she enjoyed taking trips to the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn., to visit with her two black bears, Ted and Honey.  She also enjoyed traveling and spending her summers with her grandchildren. She worked various jobs, including beautician, CNA, and working for her husband’s plumbing company, but her favorite and most rewarding job was caring for and helping people with disabilities at Opportunity Village in Las Vegas, Nev.  She continued this career path while living in West Salem as well.

Her whole world was her bears, as well as her grandchildren. Jadyn states that  “she was an amazing grandma. I loved it most when she took me to Chuck-E-Cheese and we played. I also loved it when she went swimming with me at the swimming pool and the pond at the campground she stayed at with my Papa during the summer.  At the pond we would get ice cream with cousins and friends during the ice cream social, she rarely if ever, told me “No”.  One year for my birthday she got me a black truck just like Papa’s, and another year for my birthday she got me a hoverboard which I still have. She also got a bear blanket from the bear center that I still use every night as it reminds me of her.  My most fond memory of her was when she came back after the winter and would surprise me at school, bringing my classmates and I ice cream. I love and miss my grandma very much and will always be thinking of her.”

Jenna, her first grandchild, states that “our grandma was a compassionate lady who loved all animals, big and small. I believe my love of animals came from her, as she would bring home all sorts of animals and taught me how to care for them. I remember living right across the street from my grandparents, riding my little battery powered car to their house every chance I got to hang out with my grandma and whatever animal she had at the time.  She also taught me how to swim and allowed me to eat ice cream for supper with my Papa. I also have a love of traveling from her, as we went to Disney World, Disney Land, multiple trips were made to Las Vegas, and every summer we would take a trip to the Milwaukee Zoo. My grandma will be deeply missed, and a huge hole will be left in the hearts of all her loved ones. I love and miss you so much Granna.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Dorothy, her brothers, Larry, Michael and James McMullen as well as her two black bears, Ted and Honey.  She is further survived by her husband, Tim Fitzgerald, her daughter and son-in-law, Erica and ShaunSchober, and granddaughters, Jenna and Jadyn Schober, as well as many other relatives and friends.

In accordance with Cinders wishes, no formal service will be held, but a celebration of life is in the works and will be announced once finalized. The family asks that you send monetary gifts to “North American Bear Center Hwy 169 Ely, Minn., 55731” in her name.

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