Helen L. Fitzgerald, 88, of Monroe City, passed away at 5:55 p.m. Friday, November 18, 2022 at University Hospital in Columbia.
Helen was born in Laddonia on February 28, 1934 to Downing Garnett and Winnie Henderson Garnett. Helen came from a large and close-knit family and was the youngest of 10 children.
On February 4, 1979 Helen married Thomas Fitzgerald, of Bowling Green. Tom was the love of her life. They made their first home in Bowling Green, but later lived in San Antonio, Texas, San Diego, California, and Newport News, Virginia. Finally, they came full-circle back to Missouri, where they retired in Monroe City. Over the course of those years, Helen spent her professional career as a beautician, an apartment manager and a home health care provider.
Many knew Helen as a sweet and classy lady, dressed to the nines and always ready to socialize. She was a beautiful lady, inside and out, always helping those in need. Helen was an excellent cook and had numerous specialties, but she was best known for her delicious homemade Angel Food Cake with 7-minute frosting. Helen was extremely gifted at decorating and loved to entertain her family and friends. One of her favorite aspects of decorating included putting together her own flower arrangements, but you would often catch her sharing some of her beautiful creations with those who needed a lift. Among her favorite flowers were daisies, lilacs, Queen Anne’s Lace and violets.
Helen loved spending time with family and she especially loved and adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoyed watching game shows or HGTV, going on a thrift store outing or stopping by BB’s Ice Cream for the perfect vanilla treat. Two of her most cherished trips were taken with her daughters to the Paula Deen Show in Savannah, Georgia, and an all-girls trip to New York City. She was known and loved by many and will be missed by all. Helen was a woman of faith and a member of the Monroe City Christian Church.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband, three brothers (John Garnett, Don Garnett, and Harold Garnett), five sisters (Beulah Palmer, Lucille Dunn, Maxine Rickell, Gladys Reger and Thelma Schultz), son-in-law (Daniel Spalding) and her beloved friend and dog, Sissy.
Survivors include her four daughters, Marsha Spalding of Monroe City, Monica (Charlie) King of Warren, Melinda Gastler of Laddonia, Carla (Mark) Gartner of Monroe City; brother, Bob Garnett of Greensboro, N.C.; sister-in-law, Peggy Garnett of Athens, GA; grandchildren, Laura (Gerry) Maas, Lisa (Joseph) Kling, Betsie (Bobby) Betts, Ryan (Lacey) King, Chad (Amy) Gastler, Brad (Jenny) Gastler, Amanda Cheely, Zachary Cheely; 17 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, November 25 followed by a Life Celebration at a visitation from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the O’Donnell-Thurman Life Celebration Home in Monroe City. Pastor Steve Goughnour will officiate. Graveside services and burial will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 26, at Ariel Cemetery in Monroe City. All friends and family are invited to attend.
Pallbearers will be Ryan King, Brad Gastler, Chad Gastler, Zachary Cheely, Gerry Maas, and Joseph Kling.
Honorary pallbearers will be Charlie King, Matthew Maas, Mark Gartner and Steve Shively.
Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice. Suggestions include the Monroe City Christian Church and Northeast Missouri Humane Society.
Online condolences may be shared and a video tribute may be viewed at www.ODonnellThurman.com.