Eugene Fitzsimmons Des Moines Eugene Edward Fitzsimmons peacefully entered his eternal rest on October 14, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. The son of John Fitzsimmons and Marie Costello, Gene was born on December 16, 1923in Vail, Iowa. He met the love of his life, Teresa Rose Shoemaker, in 1953 and they married in 1955. Raised on a depression era farm, Gene earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from Loras College in 1950 and went on to earn his Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa in 1964. A passionate advocate for children and the poor, he held several significant posts across the state of Iowa (from Dubuque to Council Bluffs) in a career with the Department of Human Services which spanned over 25 years. He was also a leader in his church community at St. Pius X Church in Urbandale for nearly 50 years, where he was a Eucharistic Minister serving Mercy and Methodist Hospitals, a participant in Hearts of Fire and enjoyed his Friday morning bible study with dear friends. He was also a member of the funeral choir. Gene was a man of faith and action. One memorable story his son Matt shared was when he was waiting for his father to pick him up from college for Christmas break: "Dad pulled up and came inside; he wasn't wearing a coat. He told me he picked up a young man hitchhiking in the cold. Since the young man didn't have a coat, at the end of the ride dad gave him his coat." This is just one example of Gene's kindness and generosity. Gene is survived by Teresa, his beloved wife of 60 years, and his children and their spouses: Sean and Catharine Fitzsimmons of Des Moines, Iowa; Mark and Melissa Fitzsimmons of New York, New York; Mary and Tim Simmons of Des Moines, Iowa; Matt Fitzsimmons of Pleasanton, California; Susan Fitzsimmons and Jake Christensen of Des Moines, Iowa; and his grandchildren: Joseph Simmons, Nicole Fitzsimmons, Ian Fitzsimmons, Aiden Fitzsimmons, Grace Simmons, Katie Fitzsimmons and Iris Christensen. He is also survived by his brother Fred Fitzsimmons of Vail, Iowa; his sister Catherine Carey of Churdan, Iowa and many cherished nieces, nephews and beloved friends. He was preceded in death by his precious daughter Kathleen and his brother Jack Fitzsimmons. Family will greet friends on Monday, October 17 from 5:00-7:00pm at Dunn's Funeral Home (2121 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA) for a memorial gathering with vigil to follow. A Catholic Mass will be held on Tuesday, October 18 at 10:00 am at St. Pius X Church (3663 66th St, Urbandale, IA) with gravesite services following at St. Ann's Cemetery in Vail, Iowa. The Fitzsimmons family would like to thank the entire staff at Ramsey Village for their generous care and concern for both Gene and Teresa. Memorial contributions may be made in Gene's name to Catholic Charities. Online condolences may be left at ilescares.com .
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