photo: Diane and John Fitzsimons

Diane and John Fitzsimons standing on the famous green line on 5th Ave. during the 2015 NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Board of Directors of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is saddened by the loss of John Joseph Fitzsimons, who served with distinction as Vice Chairman of the Board.

John and the late Kevin Nelson proudly funded the unique New York tradition of annually re-painting one-and-a-half miles of Fifth Avenue’s white traffic line, transforming it into the lively green line that guides hundreds of thousands of marchers along the midtown route of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

John passed away peacefully in his Manhattan home on January 22, 2016 surrounded by his devoted wife of 39 years, Diane, daughters Elizabeth, Bronwen and Gael, sons-in-law Ryan, Charles and Joseph, and grandson Jack. He was 73. John was predeceased by his parents and his sister Maureen. In addition to his wife and children, he is also survived by a brother, Cornelius.

“John Joe” Fitzsimons was born in Manhattan and raised in Woodside, Queens by parents Teresa Fitzsimons (nee Collum) and John P. Fitzsimons. After graduating from St. John’s University in Queens, he founded and was the Chairman of Data Systems Computer Centre.

John is remembered by his many friends throughout the world for his quick smile and graciousness in adversity. He was a true Irish-American gentleman.

John J. Fitzsimons was a successful businessman and a compassionate philanthropist. In addition to serving on the Parade’s Board of Directors, he was also the Almoner of The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of New York, and a member of the Board of Directors of the St. Patrick’s Day Foundation. He was also an active member of the Ireland-US Council, the Knights of St. Patrick, and the American Ireland Fund.

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