Cover photo for Michael Fitzgerald's Obituary
Michael Fitzgerald Profile Photo

Michael Fitzgerald

August 15, 1952 — June 26, 2023

Michael Fitzgerald

Michael Boyd Fitzgerald, beloved husband, family man, cowboy, and saddle pal, passed away peacefully at home in Bluffdale, UT at the age of 70 after a brave 10-month battle with Glioblastoma surrounded by those he loved. 
 
Mike was born at Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT to parents Boyd Franklin Fitzgerald and Carol Bernice Fitzgerald. He grew up in Draper, Utah as a young farm hand at the family KDK Dairy and at his father’s ranch, Valley View Riding Stable where he discovered a love for riding horses and time spent outdoors. After graduating from Jordan High School in 1970, he enlisted with the United States Air Force. He specialized as a Jet Mechanic and enrolled in NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) Leadership School, finishing in the top three.
 
After an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he attended Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah. He later became a steel fabricator at Mark Steel where he was a leadman in layout, focusing on design and construction for thirty-one loyal years. Mike was involved in many notable projects and was most proud of his part in the construction of the awe-inspiring Skywalk over the Grand Canyon.
 
Mike married his best friend Sherry Yvonne McKnight and spent thirty-six wonderful years at her side. His wanderlust took them on unforgettable adventures through red rock canyons, Uinta Mountain ranges, and many national parks. Whether camping in the backcountry by horseback with saddle pals or taking their camper and UTV to off grid locations, their spirit for adventure created a lifetime of memories and instilled a passion for the outdoors within their daughters and grandchildren. 
 
As time passed this love for the outdoors shifted from rugged backcountry to more relaxed urban places. Adventures moved from narrow dusty trails bordered by drop off-cliffs to manicured fairways ending at groomed greens. Cowboy hats and spurs were exchanged for golf clubs and polo shirts, and although his outdoor style had changed, his cowboy spirit always remained true.
 
Mike’s word was his bond and his handshake was law. He knew exactly who he was and made it his life’s purpose to take care of those around him and make their lives easier. His impressive cowboy mustache often hid a smile that revealed his search to find humor in everything around him. When you saw his eyes twinkle, you knew he was on the verge of a great joke designed to lift the spirits of those around him. He lived for laughter, joy, and cold beer with friends. Mike leaves behind a mountain range full of happy memories for all those who share the honor of knowing him. 
 
He is survived by his ever-loving wife Sherry; his daughters Shanda (Jason) Ball, Angila (Cleve) Johnson, and Meghann (Doug) Bray; grandchildren Rylie and Sarah Ball, Sophia and Miles Johnson; and sister Joyce Park. In his passing he joins his sons Jason and Jeremy Fitzgerald who Michael lost tragically at a young age, his brother Kyle, and his parents.
 
Michael will be cremated and laid to rest at Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park in Bluffdale, UT. There will be a graveside military honors service Friday, September 22nd at 2PM to honor and celebrate his life. 
 
 
I Know You’ll Miss This Man
by Baxter Black, DVM
 
The Lord spoke to the heavy hearts that stood with hats in hand
 
"Your sadness pains me deeply and I know you'll miss this man
But, it's true what you've been hearing, Heaven is a real place.
That's no small consolation. You should use that fact to face
 
The emptiness his parting left that seeps into your bones
And draw on it to ease your pain. For he is not alone.
You see, all his friends are up here and all his loved ones, too,
'Cause it wouldn't be a heaven without each one of you.
 
And heaven for a cowboy is just what you might expect,
It's horses that need tunin' up and heifers that need checked.
It's long rides with a purpose and a code that lights the way
And a satisfying reason to get up every day.
 
It's the ranch he's always dreamed of and never knew he'd find
And if you think about it, you can see it in your mind.
Him, leanin' in the saddle with his ol' hat on his head,
Contentment set upon his face like blankets on a bed.
 
The leather creaks a little as he shifts there in the seat.
The bit chains give a jingle when his pony switches feet.
And you somehow get the feelin' that he's sittin' on a throne
A'gazin' out on paradise just like it was his own.
 
I can promise you he's happy, though I know you can't pretend
You're glad he made the journey. It's too hard to comprehend.
The earthly way you look at things can never satisfy
Your lack of understanding for the answer to the 'Why?'
 
So, I offer this small comfort to put your grief to rest,
I only take the top hands 'cause my crew's the very best.
And I know it might seem selfish to friends and next of kin
But I needed one more cowboy and Michael fit right in."

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, September 22, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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