By Sally A. Downey
Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/8
H. Paul Fitzpatrick Jr., 74, a retired mechanical engineer and former president of the West Chester Borough Council, died Saturday, Dec. 4, of complications from pneumonia at Chester County Hospital.
Mr. Fitzpatrick was a volunteer at the annual West Chester Film Festival. In 2004, he told The Inquirer: “There are two things a lot of people say we should have in this town. One is a theater; one is a grocery store. To get a theater, you have to show investors there is an interest. We figured this [festival] is a first shot.”
West Chester still doesn’t have a movie theater, but it does have a grocery store, his family said.
Also in 2004, the Borough Council voted against allowing Brandon C. “Bam” Margera to have a parade in downtown West Chester for his MTV show, Viva La Bam.
Mr. Fitzpatrick, who voted to permit the event, told The Inquirer: “Look what good it could do. It brings our name in front of virtually everybody who watches MTV. That audience doesn’t include me, but I understand it includes popular stuff. I think we missed an opportunity.”
Mr. Fitzpatrick graduated from Springfield High School in Delaware County. In 1957, he married his high school sweetheart, Judith Rossiter.
The couple lived in Folsom, in Clifton Heights, and in Newtown Square before moving to West Chester in 1984.
He was a veteran of eight years’ service in the Navy Reserve and earned an associate degree from Delaware County Community College. He worked for General Electric, for Westinghouse, and for Brooks Instruments in Hatfield. He then taught industrial arts at Lansdowne-Aldan High School and mechanical arts at the American Institute for Drafting in Philadelphia.
Mr. Fitzpatrick worked for a decade for Global Plastics in Bensalem. Since retiring from Global five years ago, he consulted for plastic companies and worked part time for Brandywine Ace Hardware Store. He was a tinkerer and enjoyed home repairs and improvements, his family said.
He and his wife took camping trips in the United States with their children when they were young, and in later years, the couple enjoyed travel abroad.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Fitzpatrick is survived by sons Timothy and Kevin; a daughter, Pamela Tatum; two sisters; a brother; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson. A daughter, Diana, died in 1986.
A Memorial Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, 231 W. Gay St., West Chester. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m.