Mary Carlene Larsen FitzGerald
March 22, 1930 — May 6, 2015
Carlene FitzGerald, 85, of Friday Harbor joined her deceased beloved husband, Gerry FitzGerald, on May 6, 2015. During her peaceful passing, she was surrounded by family.
Born on March 22, 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah, she was raised by her great-aunt, Garnet Pearson, and her great-grandmother Mary Attridge Brown. She graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in sociology and had planned to teach; however, she was drawn to the sky. Joining Western Airlines as a stewardess, she flew on DC-3s through turbulence in the Rocky Mountains while balancing on high heels. It was at Western Airlines that she me her future husband–the dashing pilot Gerry FitzGerald.
Carlene and Gerry had the good fortune to live in several places in California and Hawaii before settling down on San Juan Island, Washington. Along the way they had three children: Shannon, Mike, and Sheelin. While in Hawaii, Carlene earned a Master’s degree with the International Society of Graphoanalysts and assisted the FBI, police, and others with her knowledge of handwriting analysis. In retirement, she and Gerry loved heading north on their boat, IceBear, to British Columbia and Alaska. While they had planned for a quiet island life, they were soon actively involved with the San Juan Island Yacht Club and made many good friends through it. Carlene also loved her P.E.O. sisters and found the work of the organization to be very rewarding.
Carlene will be greatly missed by all who knew her kind and loving soul. She once asked God what her purpose in life was. The answer she received was to “be kind and smile at people.” In this endeavor she succeeded and was a wonderful example to others. In addition to her immediate family, she loved her many nieces and nephews, and their spouses and children. She is survived by several dear friends and her family: daughter Sheelin Bower, son-in-law John, and grandson Jake of Friday Harbor; son Michael FitzGerald, daughter-in-law Carol, and grandsons Scott and Gregory of Woodland, California; daughter Shannon FitzGerald of Friday Harbor and Seattle; and canine companion Lillie.
As Carlene’s sister-in-law, Mary FitzGerald Beach, summed up Carlene’s and Gerry’s life, “They flew among the stars when they met, were guided by them on IceBear, and now–soar above us.”