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Richard Fitzgerald of Newton, Massachusetts, died peacefully at home on August 5, 2023 of complications from Alzheimer's Disease.


Richard was born to Margaret Downey Fitzgerald and Richard John Fitzgerald on September 21, 1942 in Yonkers, New York. He attended public schools in Westchester County, NY and Chester County, PA, and went on to study English Literature at Amherst College. After graduating, he worked in New York City, where he enjoyed playing rugby and performing in productions of the Children's Theater in the Park.


Richard was Executive Director of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA from 1984 through 2008. His leadership, collegiality, and achievements have been well- documented throughout his distinguished tenure. Richard cultivated a sense of community spirit and pride among architects and the trades. He was deeply dedicated to social justice and nurtured the BSA's commitment diversity within the profession by including the recruitment of women and under-represented people to the BSA Board of Directors and to committees, and brought diverse viewpoints from non-architects into policy discussions.


Richard also initiated and edited the BSA ChapterLetter, a printed monthly newsletter that captured Richard's keen observational wit and facility with language, and became the BSA's primary member communication tool before the digital age.


As a savvy and charismatic organizational director Richard was adept at teasing out the best in others and encouraging them to shine. Insights and successes of the BSA during Richard's leadership inspired national AIA initiatives. He extended his professional role post-retirement as a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston Architectural College and as an Overseer of the North Bennet Street School. Richard's sharp wit, intellectual curiosity, tall but humble presence, and everlasting sense of humor were not easy to dismiss, or forget.

A doting and devoted father, Richard, his wife of 43 years, Linda Sevey, and their daughter, Caelah, made their home in Newton. He adored his three young granddaughters and delighted in making them laugh with his silly sayings and playful pranks. Nothing made Richard happier than being surrounded by his family. Richard is greatly missed by those who loved him deeply including his wife, Linda; daughter Caelah; son-in-law, Eli Griffis; and grandchildren, Harper, Rowan, and Essex; as well as his brother, Geoffrey and sister-in-law, Diane Fitzgerald; his sister, Sharon and brother-in-law Geoffrey Little; and sister-in-law Pamela Bartek; as well as his three nieces and nephew. Richard firmly subscribed to Socrates' belief that a life not examined is not worth living. He was uniquely thoughtful, considerate, and generous to all, and his loss will be felt by the many whose lives he touched.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the American Civil Liberties Union or the Alzheimer's Association.

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