Peaceful 09
Official Obituary of

James Lawrence Fitzgerald

March 27, 1964 ~ March 28, 2024 (age 60) 60 Years Old

James Fitzgerald Obituary

James “Jim” Lawrence Fitzgerald, age 60, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Jim was born in Marysville, Ohio on March 27, 1964, to the late John Lawrence “Larry” Fitzgerald and Barbara Alice (Harlor) Fitzgerald. The sixth of seven children, he was raised in Marysville and graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1986. After college, Jim moved to Chicago, Illinois and worked at Continental Bank, where he met the love of his life and future wife, Lisa (Horstmeyer) Fitzgerald. They moved back to Jim’s hometown in 1988 and married on June 9, 1989. Together, Jim and Lisa shared 34 loving years of marriage and raised three children: Nicole Fitzgerald, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Emily (Fitzgerald) LaTour.

In his professional life, Jim was an entrepreneur who led an exceptional career in sales and industrial distribution. When he returned to Marysville, Jim joined his father Larry and his brother Daniel Fitzgerald to work at their family-owned hardware store. Dan and Jim eventually took over the ownership and management of McAuliffe’s Ace Hardware, and in 1995, Jim single-handedly launched a new division of McAuliffe’s focused entirely on industrial distribution. In 2016, he became the sole owner of McAuliffe’s Industrial and led its expansion to include industrial safety trainings and supplies. His ability to develop genuine and meaningful relationships, navigate the business through successes and challenges, and inspire others through his leadership and character was unparalleled. After Jim was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of thyroid cancer in 2019, he began to transition away from the business, and in 2021, he and Lisa moved full-time to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to enjoy life together.

In addition to his professional achievements, Jim––or “Fitz,” as he was affectionately known to his friends––lived a life exemplified by kindness, faith, and selflessness. To him, every encounter was an opportunity to brighten someone’s day with his wry and playful sense of humor. He never missed a chance to make a lasting impact on others, whether it was on the golf course, around the neighborhood, or even at the infusion center while receiving his cancer treatments. Above all, Jim found the most purpose in creating works of art for others, which he described as his “ministry.” By the end of his life, he had freely given over 200 acrylic paintings he had created of pictures with significant meaning––including portraits, landscapes, pets (many, many dogs), birds, and a boat––to family, friends, co-workers, customers, neighbors, and even strangers. Particularly in the final years of his life, Jim found that he could continue to make a difference through sharing his artistic talents, despite the progression of his disease. He often described the period after receiving his cancer diagnosis as the “best season of his life” because it allowed him to focus on what was truly important and cultivate the message and legacy he wished to leave behind: “Listen, listen, love, love; judge less, forgive more; remember someday you will want the same. Be humble in everything you do but have inner self-confidence. Find meaning in using the gifts God has given you to make a difference in others’ lives.”

He is survived by so many who loved him, including his wife, Lisa; his three children, Nicole, Ryan, and Emily; his siblings, Mary Lou Quinn, Dan Fitzgerald, John Fitzgerald, and Katherine “Kay” Dowds; his sisters-in-law, Becky Fitzgerald, Nita Fitzgerald, Miriam Boelyn-Fitzgerald, Marya Horstmeyer, and Laura Lyle; his brothers-in-law, Thomas Hackett, Patrick Quinn, Michael Dowds, Dave Horstmeyer, and Rick Lyle; his mother-in-law, Linda Pearson; his many nieces and nephews; his best friend, John “Pruts” Prutsman; his many other Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers, church friends, golf buddies, work colleagues, customers, and neighbors; and his beloved dog, Charlie. In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his two siblings, Ann Hackett and Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald; his father-in-law, John Horstmeyer; and his niece, Devon Fitzgerald.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am on Friday, April 12, at Grace Community Church, 450 Spanish Wells Road, Hilton Head Island, SC. A reception will then follow at The Golf Club at Indigo Run, 101 Berwick Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC. In lieu of flowers, Jim wished for donations to be made to Grace Community Church.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know James Lawrence Fitzgerald?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor James's memory.


Memorial Service
April 12, 2024

10:00 AM
Grace Community Church
450 Spanish Wells Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926


Grace Community Church


© 2024 Sauls Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility