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Judith Fitzgerald of Chevy Chase, Maryland, passed away peacefully at home on June 16, 2018. She was the beloved mother of Karen Fitzgerald and the late Brian Fitzgerald, and the widow of the late William Francis Fitzgerald.
The daughter of Norwegian immigrants, Judith grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, where she attended Columbia High School. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York with a degree in fashion design and illustration. She also did post-graduate studies in drawing and the history of art with René Bouché in New York and Paulo d’Anna in Rome.
Her career in the fields of art, design, and fashion spanned decades, including work as a fashion illustrator, store display designer, fashion model, art teacher, and painter. She worked for Lord & Taylor, Tobé Associates (publishers of the Tobé Report), Sterling Advertising, the John Mather Lupton Agency, and Stern Brothers in New York City. In the 1950s, she joined her sister, Anita, in Washington, DC, where she began working as a fashion illustrator for the Woodward & Lothrop department store. She was awarded the Washington, DC Art Directors’ Award for Illustration for her work done there.
Her desire to travel led her to Europe, where she spent almost a year finding inspiration for paintings and drawings in France, Italy, and Norway. When she returned to Washington, DC, she worked as a freelance artist for Woodward & Lothrop and Lansburgh’s department stores, and taught illustration and history of art at the National Art Academy.
She married William Fitzgerald, an advertising and public relations executive, and settled down to start a family, living first in Georgetown and then in Bethesda, MD. She continued painting and drawing, and later in life did paintings and drawings in a variety of media on commission.
Judith was a tennis enthusiast, and she enjoyed both playing and watching matches with her husband, son, and friends. She loved the natural world and she and her daughter recently enjoyed spending time together bird watching, working on their list of neighborhood birds. Judith’s Presbyterian faith was an important part of her life and although recent physical limitations prevented her from attending church services, she read the Bible often and had a strong faith in God and Christ.
Judith is survived by her daughter, Karen Dara Fitzgerald, also of Chevy Chase, and three nephews, David Möller, Kevin Möller, and William Brancucci, and their families.
A private service will be held in Rockville, Maryland, on Saturday, June 23. Judith will be laid to rest at a graveside service that will be held at the Restland Memorial Park, 77 DeForest Avenue, East Hanover, NJ, on Thursday, June 28, at 1:30 p.m., with the Reverend Margaret Crowl officiating.