Joel Dean Fitzgerald, 88, Ness City, died Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Cedar Village Care Center, Ness City.

He was born Oct. 18, 1929, in Dodge City to Bryan and Jennie (Hollman) Fitzgerald. He was born six days before the stock market crash of the Great Depression. He was a 1947 graduate of Ness City High School, a graduate of the University of Kansas and the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.

He married Ann McCracken on Oct. 20, 1961, in Ness City. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran having served in Korea at the 58th TAC Hospital. He returned to Ness City in 1956 and began working as the administrator, X-ray tech and lab tech at the Ness County Hospital for four years. In 1961, he began working with his father at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Fitzgerald Furniture. He was recognized for 50 years of funeral service by the Kansas Funeral Directors Association in 2012. He and his wife, owned and operated the Ness City Flower Shop for more than 40 years.

He enjoyed that little shop, especially at Christmas time.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church and Rotary Club, both of Ness City. He was an Eagle Scout and was active in the Ness City Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts for many years.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Joel Fitzgerald II and wife, Judy, Ness City; a daughter, Heather Seratte and husband, Scott, Lawrence; a sister, Mary Jonette McKee, Norman, Okla.; and six grandchildren, Jacob, Ethan and Evann Seratte, and Elijah, Isaiah and Silas Fitzgerald.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church, Ness City; burial in Ness City Cemetery.

Friends can call from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday with family present from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Ness City.

Memorials are suggested to First Baptist Church or Ness County Health Care Foundation in care of the funeral home.

Condolences can be left for the family at www.fitzgeraldfuneral.com.