Francis M. Fitzsimmons

Francis Malcolm FitzSimmons, age 93 of Waseca, passed away Monday, April 30, 2018 at Owatonna Hospital surrounded by his loving family.

Francis was born in Albert Lea on July 19, 1924. He graduated from Waseca Sacred Heart in 1942. Francis served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Army Airborne Division. He returned to Waseca and hired on with the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He completed Engineer training in Chicago. He married Pauline (Polly) Jacobson on October 28, 1952 in Redwood Falls. The two farmed between Owatonna and Waseca where they raised their family. Francis retired from the railroad in 1986 after 40 years of service. He continued farming for 10 more years. He rented the land after that but continued to oversee the operation of the farms. Farming was his greatest passion. He spent much of his youth on his grandparent’s farm near Good Thunder.  

He had lots of stories of those days with his best buds – cousins, Mike and Robert.
Francis and Polly enjoyed traveling and camping. They spent 21 winters in Arizona and New Mexico. He loved going for a drive through the country to check out the crops. Often these drives ended up in Good Thunder where he loved visiting with family and friends. He will be greatly missed by everyone who enjoyed his storytelling and forever admired for his hard work and dedication.

Francis was preceded in death by his wife Polly and by sisters Marion, Jean and Mary Lou. He is survived by two daughters, Anita (Merrill) Ronning of Apple Valley and Mary (Paul) Perron of Roseville; one son, Michael (Carm) of South Carolina; five grandchildren, Beth (Ken) Reilly, Julie Bacon, Katie (Gabriel) Perron Pantano, Kristen Perron, and Ryan FitzSimmons; six great grandchildren, Elsa, Maren, Theo, Morgan, Luiz and Juliana.  He is also survived by four brothers, Jack, Richard (Lenore), Bill (Sandy) and Jim (Sharon); five sisters Lois Johnson, Marge Root, Joann Pehrson, Karen O’Rourke and Kathryn FitzSimmons; many nieces and nephews.

We are thankful for the staff at Owatonna Hospital who provided exceptional care and support to Francis and our family. We want to extend a special thank you to Karen Kath Michaels who was always working when Francis or Pauline were in need of nursing care. She was very dear to both of them. We appreciate the staff at Colony Court who created a friendly caring environment for Francis during the last 4 years. He found and enjoyed many old and new friends there. We are grateful for Francis’ brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. All of you filled his life with love.

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, July 29, 2018 from noon to 4 p.m. at FarmAmerica (7367 360th Ave, Waseca, MN

In lieu of flowers, bring a story, an Irish blessing or joke to celebrate Francis’ life. Most important is your presence to share time with friends and family.

Memorials are preferred to donor's choice or your local food shelf.


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