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Enshrined : 2014 (Posthumous)
Eastern Connecticut Football Officials
Starting his football officiating career with the Dolphin Association of Sports Officials on the Groton Naval Base in 1958, William Earl "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick was a 35-year member of the Eastern Connecticut Board of Approved Football Officials. A native of Rector, AK, Fitzpatrick had a distinguished Naval career before retiring in 1989.
Like most who don the stripes, Fitzpatrick cut his officiating teeth working the youth football contests in and around the New London area, honing his skills to make it to the varsity ranks. When he did arrive on the varsity field, he remained true to his roots, and continued to officiate youth football contests throughout his career.
As a member of the ECBAFO, he was a hard worker in making the organization better, working on several committees. Those included, the Better Officiating Committee, Clinic Committee, Nominating Committee, Banquet Committee, and Life Membership Committee. In 1996 he served as the group's president, and was a member of the executive board 1995-96, 1998-99, and 2002-13.
An umpire by position, he was assigned to five CIAC semi or final games, and was a timer/alternate once. He was a timer for three other contests.
He received the Southeast Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Official Recognition Award in 2007.
Following his career in the Navy, "Fitzy" worked in security. He was active in SUBVETS, an organization for retired submariners. Besides football, he officiated baseball, soccer and basketball.
Fitz died this past October, and leaves his wife, Janice and three children: William, Michael and Barbara, and eight grandchildren.