West Chester civic leader Fitzpatrick dies

[A sad moment and great loss for Borough Democrats (Paul was a committeeperson for many years) and for the entire population whom Paul served selflessly in many positions, as brought out below.]

By Jim Callahan, Daily Local News, 12/6/10

WEST CHESTER — Civic leader H. Paul Fitzpatrick died Saturday from pneumonia, according to friends. He was 74.

Fitzpatrick served two terms on Borough Council from 2000 through 2007. He was council president for four of those years. He was currently chairman of the West Chester Business Improvement District, the organization that advocates for improvements to the borough center. He was involved in numerous other borough organizations working for the improvement of West Chester.

“All of West Chester just lost a splendid public servant. Paul loved West Chester and made it a better place to live,” said former Mayor Dick Yoder, who worked with Fitzpatrick during much of that time.

Former council colleague Anne Carroll remembered him as a man who was concerned with his community. “Every nook and cranny of this town was his passion, and to a certain extent, his possession.”

Current Council President Holly Brown, a business owner in town, said she and Fitzpatrick found themselves getting involved in community affairs about the same time in the mid-1990s before they ran for public office. She said she started working with Fitzpatrick and his wife, Judy, on the Citizens Business Alliance to revitalize the borough.

“He and his wife became good friends,” she said. “He was so involved in the town; he just loved the town and wanted to see it get better. He was a great guy. He was a good man.”

Councilman Jim Jones worked with Fitzpatrick on borough issues. Together, they hosted a weekly program on borough affairs on radio station WCHE. Jones, a history professor at West Chester University, characterized Fitzpatrick as a “reasonable man,” who was level-headed and wanted to get things done. “He had experiences in a lot of different things, his opinion was valued, and he was fun to be around,” he said. “It’s a big loss to the borough. He was a good guy.”

Funeral arrangements were unavailable Sunday evening.


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