James D. Fitzpatrick of Syracuse died on April 17 at Crouse Hospital after a brief illness. Jim was the son of William F. Fitzpatrick and Margaret Mary Shortt Fitzpatrick and was a lifelong resident of the City of Syracuse. He was a graduate of Nottingham High School Class of 1956 and Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass. in 1960. He earned his law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 1963. After graduation, Jim joined the law firm of Bond, Schoeneck & King where he practiced real estate law for nearly fifty years, becoming a partner in the Firm and one of the preeminent real property practitioners in Central New York. Jim was Chair of the Real Property Committee of the Onondaga County Bar Association, a speaker before many Onondaga and New York State Bar Association programs, President of the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society, a member of the American Bar and International Bar Associations, the New York Bar Foundation, and the World Jurist Association of the World Peace Law Center. Regardless of his many personal and professional commitments, Jim always found time to mentor young BS&K lawyers about the complexities of residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Jim's interests extended far beyond his legal practice. He was particularly concerned about the equitable distribution of food both locally and internationally, the affordability of housing for the poor, and literacy education. He enjoyed singing, reading, restoration of vintage cars, SU sports, the Syracuse Skychiefs and his membership in the Century Club of Syracuse. He was a Board member of the Syracuse Cerebral Palsy and Mental Retardation, Inc., the Syracuse Habitat for Humanity and the Food Bank of Central New York. He was active in the United Way of Central New York, the Syracuse Red Cross and legal advisor to his parish, All Saints Church. Jim was a delegate to the Russian International Conference on Banking held in The Kremlin, Moscow where he introduced New York's "Plain Language Law" to Russia. He also was a participant in the Laubach Literacy "Women in Literacy" Program, and was selected to speak at its literacy conference in New Delhi, India.
Jim was the recipient of many awards but he was most honored to be recognized by the Syracuse Post Standard as a Person of Achievement in 2000 for making his hometown a better place in which to live. Jim was a modest man who lived his life with quiet dignity, an understated class, a strong character and a heart filled with kindness and generosity towards others. He had an unyielding respect for tradition and a profound faith in God that carried him through life's difficult times. "Fitz" displayed a true Irishman's sense of humor and an ability to laugh at himself. He limited his extravagance to Rolls Royce automobiles and loved driving the children of his friends and colleagues on their wedding days. Above all else, Jim was dedicated to the support and welfare of his twin brothers, William and Francis, who predeceased him. He is survived by his sister, Mary M. Fitzpatrick of New York City, several cousins, and many good friends who will miss him very much.
A funeral Mass will be offered on Monday, April 24 at 10 a.m. at All Saints Church, 1340 Lancaster Avenue, Syracuse. A reception at the Parish Center and then burial at St. Mary's Cemetery, Dewitt, will follow. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at the Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. Contributions may be made to All Saints Church.