Florence Ann (Sherry) FitzGerald

Florence Ann FitzGerald

Raised on a Ranch

When you are an only child on a ranch you don’t just do girly things, you do all things. This created and Sherry an attitude of doing something if it needed to be done. She didn’t have to wait for anybody else, she just did it. She took this attitude all the way through her life.

Off to College

Though she was a ranch girl she was also very intelligent. She started her college academic career at the University of Oregon and then moved on to the University of California at Berkeley.

Work Experience and Finding a Husband

After leaving college before Sherry FitzGerald graduated she worked for Pan American Airways in the office. Pan-American was a wonderful place for her to work because she got to travel around the world. Also, this is where she met Patrick FitzGerald. They hit it off and got married.


After marriage, she had three kids all about a year apart. This Are very busy while Patrick FitzGerald stayed at Pan American Airways. During this time in Menlo Park she had her first child before moving to Japan.


Sherry FitzGerald is a rather tall woman with long blonde hair. During the middle 1950s in Japan, she was rather an oddity. People would come up to her and touch her hair as she towered over the other Japanese. She and Patrick were living in Tokyo when they had their second son.

Back to the United States

When the family moved back to United States the only challenging part was keeping track of both kids while traveling. At one point the oldest child wandered off and it took a lot of looking to find him. Fairly quickly, after returning, Sherry had her third child.


The next move with the three children was to Vista where Patrick worked for General Atomic. After moving back from Japan the family always had a swimming pool and subsequently the children became swimmers and divers.


Tarzana is located in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles. This is where Litton Industries was located where Patrick had found a new job. The family lived in Tarzana for about nine years before moving back to the ranch.

Back to the Ranch

Sherry FitzGerald was at home back on the ranch. Whether it was shoveling alfalfa onto the back of the four wheeler to feed the animals or walking up into the forest on a stormy night to adjust the TV antenna. She sold Avon products to help the family finances.

The ranch was homesteaded in the 1840s. A house was built in around 1840 but burned down in around 1860. The house standing there today was built in 1860. In 1860 there was no indoor plumbing or electricity so as the house was expanded indoor plumbing and electric wiring that was towards the exterior the house was now on the interior of the house.

A house built in 1860 was built with square nails and exterior wall boards abutting themselves. When the exterior wall boards dried they shrank, leaving gaps in the exterior. What kept the wind from whistling through the house was wallpaper on the interior walls. Obviously, this was way before insulation and the only heating was from a fireplace in the central living room.

Rancho Bernardo and Escondido

Living is hard on a ranch and my parents both decided to first retire at a condo in Rancho Bernardo and then moved to a house with a swimming pool in Escondido. Patrick FitzGerald died in the house in Escondido

Moving to Granite Bay

Sherry, who was suffering mental decline, moved in with her oldest son and lived her life out in Granite Bay California. She passed away on 4/26/2001.

She Was a Near Perfect Mother

My mother was full of love for here children, extremely fair, wonderfully giving, and a beautiful person.