Obituary of Rev. Bede Fitzpatrick Rev. Bede Fitzpatrick, OFM Ringwood, NJ Rev. Bede Fitzpatrick, OFM, of Ringwood, a native of Ellicottville, died Wednesday (September 12, 2018) at The Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, NJ. Born Francis Bernard Fitzpatrick on July 13, 1922 in Ellicottville, Fr. Bede was one of seven children born to William F. and Loretto Kelly Fitzpatrick. He was a 1938 graduate of Ellicottville High School and a 1943 graduate of the University of Notre Dame where he played football as the running back on the freshman team. As WWII was starting to escalate he enlisted in the US Navy and was soon commissioned an officer (lieutenant), assigned to the amphibious force in Japan. His responsibilities included coordinating landing crafts at several battle sites including Iwo Jima and also the war’s largest battle on the sea, the battle of Leyte. He was honorably discharged in 1946 where he returned to Ellicottville to work for his father at Fitzpatrick & Weller. Soon after his return, Fr. Bede was drawn to the Franciscan priesthood and in 1950 was received into the order. He professed his final vows in 1954 and in 1955 was ordained. His interest was in missionary work and he subsequently began a 55-year career in Japan, first as a student learning the language and culture and then in 1961 beginning an assignment as Superior of St. Joseph’s Friary at Roppongi and later as the first pastor at the newly opened Franciscan Chapel Center. In 1971 he facilitated the introduction of Marriage Encounter in Japan. His official retirement and return to the United States was in 2013 to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, NJ. Of his long career he is quoted upon retirement as saying “…I am grateful to God, to the Order, and to the Japanese people. I feel just fulfilled, done my job, so at 91 it’s time to retire.” He is survived by his sister Kathleen Widger of Great Valley; a brother Dana Fitzpatrick of Ellicottville and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by 4 brothers William Fitzpatrick, Jess Fitzpatrick, Joseph Fitzpatrick and an infant twin brother to Dana, Daniel Fitzpatrick. A funeral mass was celebrated September 15th at St. Anthony Church, Butler NJ. A memorial mass will be celebrated Wednesday (September 26, 2018) at 10:30am at the Friary Chapel on the St. Bonaventure campus, preceded by a visitation at the chapel from 10:00 to 10:30am. Burial will follow in the Friar’s plot at St. Bonaventure Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Franciscan Friars — Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St. New York, NY 10001-3202. Arrangements are under the direction of the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, Olean. Online condolences may be expressed at oleanfuneralhome.com.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Rev Bede Fitzpatrick 2018.
Death notice for the town of: Olean, state: New York