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Local referee, fan Elroy Fitzgerald dies

Published: Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 3:31 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 3:32 p.m. CDT

Elroy Fitzgerald, who officiated football, basketball and baseball for more than 50 years, died Sunday night at his home in Cary. He was 83.

Fitzgerald was known all over McHenry County as an official and fan. Cary-Grove put the name of Elroy Fitzgerald Gymnasium on its gym about 10 years ago.

Fitzgerald was still working junior high school basketball games, lower level football games and some varsity baseball games in the spring. He was scheduled to work an Algonquin MIddle School basketball game Monday afternoon.

According to John Vito, a referee from Marengo, Fitzgerald was at his home Sunday with his daughters when he said he did not feel well and was going to bed. Vito said they heard him fall.

Everywhere you went in McHenry County, people knew Fitzgerald.

“Fitz was a historical figure for Cary-Grove,” C-G AD Jim Altendorf said. “He was a fixture for Cary-Grove and a tremendous advocate for athletics. When you talk about what athletics mean to schools and how far they’ve come, it’s because of guys like Fitz. He’s a big reason why athletics have gone from being more or a rec thing to where they are today.”

The wake will be held on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Cary. The funeral service will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Algonquin at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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