Dr. Bernard Fitzgerald

February 22, 2018

The Reverend Doctor Bernard R. Fitzgerald, 93, retired minister of the United Methodist Church, died on February 22, 2018 at Presbyterian Hospital Hospice in Charlotte, NC.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Myers Park United Methodist Church with Dr. James Howell, Senior Minister, officiating. The family will receive friends in Jubilee Hall at the church after the service. A private family service will be held at the Myers Park United Methodist Church Columbarium.

Dr. Fitzgerald was born October 28, 1924 in Lexington, NC to the Reverend J. W. and Ruth Kluttz Fitzgerald. He graduated from Central High School in Charlotte, Wofford College, and Duke University. He did graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded the Doctor of Divinity Degree from High Point University.

Dr. Fitzgerald served in the United States Navy during World War II with Fleet Air Wing in the South Atlantic and aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La. He was awarded three battle stars.

His appointments during more than forty years of ministry in the United Methodist Church included churches in Asheville, Lincolnton, High Point, and Charlotte. The churches he served in Charlotte were Mouzon, Providence, and Myers Park Methodist. Dr. Fitzgerald also served appointments as District Superintendent to the Asheville and Charlotte Districts. He served Groce United Methodist Church in Asheville, First United Methodist Church in Lincolnton, and Wesley Memorial Church in High Point. After his retirement in 1991, he was asked to serve an interim appointment in Matthews United Methodist Church.

His service to his community included the Board of Directors for The American Red Cross and the Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte, The Board of Trustees for Brevard College and The Board of Visitors for the Aldersgate Retirement Community. He received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Mental Health, and he was President of the Edward R. and Lucille P. Giles Foundation. He also served on many Methodist Boards and Annual Conference Committees across the years. He was a Rotarian in High Point and Charlotte, and a member of the Lions Club and Kiwanis Club. He was a Professor of Christian Ethics and New Testament Studies for two years at Queens College in Charlotte, and was instrumental in rebuilding the Eveland Memorial College in Santiago on Luzon in the Phillipines.

Dr. Fitzgerald is survived by his four children; Daniel Fitzgerald and wife Patricia, Sarah Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald and wife Christine, and Michael Fitzgerald and wife Candi. He is survived by six grandchildren; Dustin Fitzgerald and wife Claire, Laura Rierson and husband Joshua, Benjamin Fitzgerald and wife Mary, Alex Fitzgerald and fiancée Sadie, Melisa Moretz and Danial Thompson. He is also survived by his great-granddaughter Airlie Fitzgerald. Many loving nieces and nephews also survive him.

He was predeceased in death by his wife Carol Fitzgerald, his parents, his brothers Charles and Clarence, and his sisters Mildred and Nancy.

The family of Dr. Fitzgerald would like to request that in lieu of flowers donations be made to The Duke Divinity School; Attn: Bernard R. Fitzgerald Scholarship Endowment Fund, Post Office Box 90966, Durham, NC 27708.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Barbara Lister-Sink

    To my dear Fitzgerald cousins and family. I could not find your addresses so I do hope you will see this message of heartfelt condolence on the loss of Bernard. I never heard him preach but can only imagine how powerful (and funny!) he was in the pulpit and what a loving, comforting shepherd he was to all of his congregations throughout his long and meaningful life. I first got to know Bernard at Fitzgerald family gatherings way back in the 1950s and 1960s at Aunt Ethel's and Melvin's in Linwood with Uncle Joe and Uncle James and all the others. Then as time passed, I always loved talking with him at other gatherings or family funerals. Such a big-hearted, kind, and sharp-witted man. All of us are indebted to him also for his dedicated research (before the Internet!) into the Fitzgerald ancestry. My younger brother Tommy and I visited Bernard only a few years ago in Charlotte and had a truly wonderful time. And shortly thereafter, it was Bernard's enthusiasm and knowledge of our ancestral homeland that inspired Tommy and me to visit Ireland in 2016 and stay in an ancient farmhouse in County Tipperary. We toasted Bernard many times on that wonderful trip. My deepest sympathy to you all on the tremendous loss of this great man. Much love from Barbara (Lister-Sink), Annie Lee Fitzgerald Sink's daughter and Uncle Clyde Fitzgerald's (the only one who didn't become a preacher!) granddaughter.

  • Phil Adams

    Our prayers are with you and Christine as we have walked through these waters.
    As my pastor friend, Dewey Hobbs, said, "Dwell on the good times."
    Phil and Peggy Adams

  • Jan Garrett Meadows

    Bernard was the best! He came off vacation to marry my husband and I in 1972! His humor was so wonderful! He will always be remembered by our family and heaven has definitely gained a wonderful man and minister. I could have listened to him preach forever! We were at Wesley Memorial UMC in High Point, NC I loved your Dad!!!!

  • Mary Ellen Maycann

    Sarah and Family, I am so sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you during your difficult time.

  • Barry P Osborne

    I had the highest privilege to serve as Bernard's Associate Minister ( youth minister ) 1971-75...he was my mentor, and one whom I loved greatly....His influence upon my life is great...His example of intellect was powerful...his love of God was constant.....

  • Jackie & Brett Logan

    We wanted to express our sincere condolences for the loss of John's father. What a wonderful tribute to him in the paper today. We're sure he touched many lives & will surely be missed. You and your family are in our prayers!
    Jackie and Brett Logan

  • Melvin D Mcintosh

    The 8 years I worked with Bernard at Myers Park UMC were some of the best years of my ministry, and certainly exciting! Another blessing was the fact that we lived near one another at Lake Norman, and had many happy experiences away from the church. I even saw Bernard walk on water!! (He had some large "water shoes"). One time, I flew Bernard and Carol over our houses, and after a few low circles Bernard was ready to go back up higher. I also flew Bernard home from Chris Craven's wedding at Smithfield. Bernard said; "those women I rode over with will stop at every fabric shop on the way back to Charlotte." At the airport as we prepared to leave, he said; "Mel, you be very careful now, my wife's husband is going to be in that plane". At a Sunday School Class Dinner at church, a man was walking around with a stiff leash, supposedly connected to an invisible dog. He walked up to Bernard and said; "my dog's name is BERnard, what is your name?" and Bernard replied; "berNARD". It was a real joy to be in Bernard's presence. May God's richest blessings be with all the family during these days.