ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Jack Fitzgibbons, Sr.Jack Fitzgibbons, Sr. was born September 20, 1926, in Brooklyn, NY. Fourteen years later, his parents (Joseph and Margaret) moved Jack and his sister Peggy to the West Roxbury section of Boston, where the family would live for several years.
After graduating from Boston College HS, Jack earned a degree in business from Boston College in 1949 before embarking on a four-year professional baseball career in the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system. When his baseball career stalled at AAA, Jack returned to Boston and took a job as a sales engineer in the HVAC field that required him to drive daily along Route 1 to the company's office in Providence, RI.
Jack noticed that North Attleboro looked like a nice town, so he stopped one day, bought a newspaper and ended up renting an apartment on Cross Street for himself and his wife, Muriel "Moody" Fitzgibbons, whom he had married in 1951. Jack joined the Knights of Columbus, where he met several men who would become lifelong friends. Three years later, the Fitzgibbons bought a house on Sunset Avenue, and began to raise a family.
All five of the Fitzgibbons children graduated with distinction from North Attleboro HS. Diane ('70) and Kathleen ('75) were members of the National Honor Society who became nurses like their mother. Jack ('71) was also a National Honor Society member, and all three Fitzgibbons sons-- Jack ('71), Patrick ('74) and Joe ('79) as well as grandson Sean ('04)--served as senior co-captains of the Red Rocketeer football squad. "Mr. Fitz" was especially proud of this distinction because he understood what a responsibility it was in this town. It also pleased him that his sons played four years of college football as well—Jack at WPI, Patrick at B.U. and Joe at U. Maine for one season and then at Nichols College for three.
Mr. Fitzgibbons enjoyed watching all his children participate in NAHS activities, but he enjoyed the team competitions the most. He was a true fan of high school athletics and a true fan of the way Red Rocketeer kids played hard, competed fiercely but fairly, and never gave up. Mr. Fitz’s regular attendance at North games helped establish his reputation as a loyal fan who was like a second father to many of the other kids. The Gridiron Club honored Mr. Fitzgibbons' loyalty by dedicating its football program in his honor following his death in 2006.
Although he was inclined to keep his opinions private, in 1999 Mr. Fitzgibbons was moved to voice his displeasure in a letter to the editor of The Sun Chronicle when he read that The Boston Globe had placed Everett HS, which had been ranked #5, ahead of NAHS in its Eastern Massachusetts final standings. North had been ranked #2 most of the season and finished as undefeated Super Bowl champions. "I almost choked on my coffee," he wrote. "This team deserves to be rated number 1 as a real hard-working team made up of fine young men who are selfless." He continued, "This North Attleboro High School team, and I mean the whole team, players, coaches, cheerleaders, students and all, deserve this top ranking, and it is an injustice to take this away from them."
The North Attleboro HS Alumni Association recognizes Mr. Fitzgibbons’s loyal support of NAHS athletics, and we're proud to bestow upon him the title of Honorary Alumnus.
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