Bill Fitzgerald, a retired field representative of the national AFL-CIO, died peacefully of age-related causes at his home in Tualatin, Oregon, on Dec. 23. He was 86.
Fitzgerald worked in the garment industry, where he became involved in the labor movement. In 1963, he became a field representative for the national AFL-CIO. During his 20-year career he helped organize union campaigns throughout the Pacific Northwest, Montana and California, and lobbied the Oregon Legislature on behalf of organized labor.
William Eberhart Fitzgerald was born the youngest of four children on June 30, 1926, in Vernonia, Oregon. The family later moved to Forest Grove, where Fitzgerald was a star athlete on the high school football, basketball and baseball teams.
During World War II, Fitzgerald served as a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division and took part in the 1945 invasion and liberation of the Philippines and subsequent occupation of Japan and Okinawa.
He married his first wife, Nova, in 1946. They had a daughter, son and two children adopted from Korea. Their son, Randy, died of pneumonia at the age of two. The family moved to Canby in 1960. The marriage ended in divorce in 1973. In 1974, Fitzgerald married Mary Louise (Maria) Albi. That marriage ended in divorce in 1994. In 1995, he married Eleaner Hulsman (Hermens), his high school sweetheart.
Fitzgerald is survived by his wife; daughters Sheree Fitzgerald of Mililani, Hawaii, and Denise Camus of Sun City, Ariz.; stepdaughter Giuliana Albi of Valencia, Calif.; son Bud Fitzgerald of Eugene; and eight grandchildren.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Hilltop Methodist Church or Kiwanis Kids Camp.