Robert E. "Bob"  FitzGerald (Gar to his grandchildren) died peacefully with family at his side at the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center April 12, 2017, at the age of 86. Bob was born Aug.19, 1930, in Weymouth, Mass., to Henry and Miriam Mulready FitzGerald. Bob entered and studied for six years in the seminary immediately after high school, when he met Janet Weiss, whom he later married. Together they raised nine children.

Shortly after his marriage, he was drafted into the Army and was stationed for two years in Maryland, then moved his family back to New England. In 1972, Bob and his wife, Janet, dedicated their lives to God and moved their family to the inner city to open the Earthen Vessel in Providence, R.I., to minister to the poor.

Ten years later, they moved to Washington, Maine, and opened the Mustard Seed, also to serve the poor. Bob was heavily involved in St. Denis Church and volunteered with the prison ministry. He also opened and operated a food pantry that provided food to those in need in Knox and Waldo counties. Not only did Bob live a life of service, but he did so with joy, charm and dignity. Through Bob’s vision and with Janet’s support, thousands of people over the years were helped by these efforts, whether it was to have a warm coat to fend off winter’s chill, a bed to sleep in, a stove to cook on or food to feed their families.

Bob is survived by his children and their spouses: daughter-in-law Margaret FitzGerald, Mary (FitzGerald) Imondi and her husband, Stephen, of Frankfort, Miriam (Terry) FitzGerald of Bangor, Steven FitzGerald and his wife, Kathy, of Stockton Springs, Edward FitzGerald and his wife, Sharon, of Medford, Mass., Sean FitzGerald and his wife, Carolyn, of Providence, R.I., Gerard ("Gerry") FitzGerald and his wife, Susan, of Windsor, Joseph FitzGerald and his wife, Sara, of Monte Sereno, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Janet, and sons Robert and Michael. Gar is also survived by his 22 grandchildren: Ciaran, Molly, Anna and Emma; Anna; David, Trianna and MaryBeth; Jason, Meagan, Erin and Matthew; Kevin and James; Patrick and Savannah; Alyssa and Mark; Andrew and Taylor; Zack and Keili; as well as 14 great grandchildren!

A funeral mass is scheduled for May 6  at noon at Saint Gabriel’s Church, 435 South Main St., Winterport, with a reception to follow at Steve and Kathy’s house at 37 Church St. in Stockton Springs. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bob’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Good Shepherd Food Bank, P.O. Box 1807 Auburn, ME 04211.

The family would like to thank caregivers and staff at the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for watching over Bob.