Local politicians react to Fitzpatrick passing

Funeral services were held for former U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who died at home on Jan. 6 following a battle with melanoma

Funeral services were held last week for former U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, who died at home on Jan. 6 following a battle with melanoma. He was 56.

Fitzpatrick was a 1981 graduate of Bishop Egan High School and was an Eagle Scout.

An attorney, he served as a Bucks County commissioner from 1995 to 2005, working to preserve open space and assist flood victims.

A Republican, he served four terms in the House of Representatives, leaving in 2016 to honor a self-imposed term limit pledge. He secured federal support for the Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Upper Makefield Township and led the effort to better secure passenger planes from terrorism.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Kathleen; daughters Katie Chapman (John), Maggie Ayling (Jack) and Molly; sons Michael, James and Thomas; grandson Jack Chapman and granddaughter Abby Chapman; parents James and Mary; brothers James and Brian; sisters Mary Gilmore (Jeff), Kathleen Murray (Joseph), Patricia Morse (Paul), Colleen O’Brien (Cornelius) and Margaret Guenther (Mark); sister-in-law Helen Gordon and brother-in-law Thomas Gestite (Donna); and many nieces and nephews.

The viewing and Mass took place at Queen of the Universe Church in Levittown.

Memorial donations may be made to Queen of the Universe Parish, Washington Crossing Council Boy Scouts of America (One Scout Way, Doylestown, PA 18901) and the Guardians of the National Cemetery (PO Box 233, Newtown, PA 18940).

Current and former elected officials remembered Fitzpatrick.

Former Gov. Mark Schweiker, whom Fitzpatrick replaced as county commissioner; issued the following statement:

“Bucks County and Pennsylvania has lost a fine public servant. Mike Fitzpatrick worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those he served. As Bucks County Commissioner, and later in Congress, we could always count on Mike to fight for his fellow citizens. More than anything, I will remember him as my friend for over 40 years, and I will miss him. Kathy and I will hold his wife, Kathleen, their children and family in our prayers.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey released the following statement:

“Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick served our commonwealth and country with great integrity, competence, and dignity. During his time as a Bucks County Commissioner, and then as a member of Congress, Mike proved time and again that it is possible to work across the aisle to make progress while remaining true to one’s principles. Kris and I extend our condolences to Mike’s wife Kathleen, their children, and the entire Fitzpatrick family.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the United States and state flags on all state facilities, public buildings and grounds fly at half-staff to honor Fitzpatrick until sunset on the day of Fitzpatrick’s death and on the day of interment.

“Mike Fitzpatrick honorably served Bucks County as a commissioner and as a congressman, fighting to make our communities stronger and find compromise in a bipartisan way,” Wolf said. “After receiving a cancer diagnosis in the prime of his life, he chose to not just courageously fight, but to share his story with the hope of giving strength to others. He will be greatly missed, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

State Rep. Tina Davis (D-141st dist.) said, “Mike was a great guy to work with — incredibly smart, knowledgeable about local and state issues. He was a man of grace and honor. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Fitzpatrick family.”

State Rep. John Galloway (D-140th dist.) said, “I’ve known Mike for 35 years. He was a great elected official and a better person. From the Galloway clan to the Fitzpatricks, I would like to say how very sorry we are to hear of Mike’s passing.” ••