VIRGINIA BEACH – Lorraine E. Fitzgerald, 94, died January 1, 2017. Lorrain was born in Elgin, ND to the late John and Rose Zimmerman Schatz. The family will be having a private service. All are welcome to make memorial donations in honor of Lorraine’s memory to the Benefit Missions Outreach, c/o First Baptist Church of Norfolk, 312 Kempsville Rd., Norfolk, Va. 23502. Below are just a few of the many thoughts and memories the family wanted to share:
A farmer’s daughter for sure, but she would never stay on the farm.
Born with that adventuresome spirit which brought her parents to this country, Lorraine Fitzgerald moved from the family farm in North Dakota to the West Coast. There, she fell in love with nature, flowers, and travel which would be among her lifelong interests.
Lorraine met her late husband, Bob, in San Diego and married there. They were married for 63 years, had 3 children, 6 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren. And anyone who knew Lorraine understood that you didn’t ever criticize her children or grandchildren! If so, be prepared! She would go after you like a mama bear defending her cub! It was funny to watch but so true to her devotion to family.
Mom was a woman with a strong faith in God. Attending church was a highlight of her life as well as her years spent as a counselor at the Christian Broadcasting Network. She would tell us that she was praying for us and we are sure that kept us out of trouble on many occasions!
Traveling was a delight for Lorraine and she and Bob did a lot of it. Spending time in Israel was an unforgettable trip, especially being atop a camel! She and Bob drove across country in their camper taking in our gorgeous national parks. And then there were hikes and sunsets on Maui which she loved as well. She always told us: “travel and go while you can”; how true!
Mom was a devoted mother, wife, and perfect example for all of us. We treasure her memory and the life she and Dad gave us.
Thank you, Mom!
Pat, Bob, Ron
Although I know you have been anticipating this day for many years – this day when you would finally be united with your Lord and Savior, Jesus, in that grand homecoming celebration that will never end. But I will miss your presence in the here-and-now – .your honesty, your laughter, and above all, your love.
You demonstrated such a strong faith and trust in Jesus. I’m sure you were greeted on Sunday afternoon with His words, “well done, good and faithful servant”! I know all of your prayers and words in the many years you worked as a volunteer phone counselor for the 700 Club did not fall on deaf ears, but were effective in comforting many, many troubled callers, and bringing many of those people to a saving faith in Jesus. I know that I will always be grateful for your many prayers for me, and I have no doubt they were powerful in drawing me to the Lord. You have inspired me and will continue to inspire me until that day when I see you again. What a day that will be! Thank you for the way you lived your life daily, so beautifully validating what you said you believed. You truly loved others as you loved yourself. Thanks, Mom, for giving me such a beautiful and everlasting heritage!
I love you,
Your son, Bob
When I think back to how grandma was, the way I remember her most of my life, the first thing that comes to mind is those super tight hugs. Every time I saw her she would say “come here and let me hug you” and then follow the tightest hug ever, I could hardly breathe. I had to brace myself before every grandma hug. Then came the kiss on the cheek leaving the tell tale hot pink lipstick mark. Grandma loved with all heart.
Whenever things in life were uncertain or not working out the way she thought they would she always said that she would pray about it. She was always praying for somebody or something and her faith was certainly unwavering. There was never a question or doubt in her mind if her prayers would be answered only A matter of time and patience for when God’s will would be done.
Every card I received from her for Easter, a birthday, Christmas etc. always closed with “God bless you”. The biggest characteristic that stands out to me of grandma certainly has to be her faith in God.
That being said Grandma was also very particular about her hair and nails. If the color of her hair just wasn’t quite right she certainly didn’t seem as happy and her nails were always done- usually in a pearly or frosty color reminiscent of the fashion of her Younger days.
My grandmother was certainly a religious woman so it was surprising to hear her talk about her adventures as a teenager. She left home with her cousin at 16 and traveled from her family home on a North Dakota farm to the coast of California. She couldn’t wait to get off the farm. She said that milking cows made her hands big. She was born “Elenor” but thought it was “an ugly name” so she change it to Lorraine! In San Diego she worked as a waitress and would take the train to Los Angeles with girlfriends to go out dancing in the dance halls. I loved hearing her talk about those days in California. It was there she met my sailor grandfather and 63 years of marriage followed.
As they both retired from working they went on a trip around the country in their camper trailer. As a grandchild it was fun to get postcards and magnets from all the different states and national parks that they visited. She certainly love to travel and appreciated all the incredible natural beauty of America. Later she told me that the reason why they took the camper all over the country was because grandpa was afraid to fly!
My grandma was a bright, intelligent, loving, and honest woman. As she grew into her 90s she definitely became more open and honest with her feelings. Most of the time this ended up being pretty funny! I remember after I had my first child she asked me if my husband liked the baby! I said “yes, he loves her” and she said “well that’s good” and smiled.
I feel fortunate to have known my grandmother and to have been able to spend so much time with her as a child. I definitely have a lot of good memories to carry with me while she has gone on. I hope that she is enjoying her beautiful new home in heaven. Lord knows she deserves it. Rest in peace, grandma.
(Granddaughter; daughter of Pat Law)
My grandma left everyone she encountered with a smile on their face. She always spoke her mind and was strong willed. She loved her church and her close group of friends who saved her a seat on the same pew every Sunday. I recall one time when I was home from college, I sat with her at church, and all of her friends were asking me about school and how I liked it. But they were asking very specific questions that only someone who was close to me would know. It made me feel so special that my grandma was so proud of me that she was telling all of her church friends about me. Seeing her at church was seeing her at her happiest. She loved singing hymns and the fellowship with her friends. Her passion for the Lord was what always shined through her life. I’ll take wonderful memories and lessons about life and how to live it.