Former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald
Justice Thomas R. Fitzgerald
, who retired from the Illinois Supreme Court in 2010 after a long and distinguished career, passed away Sunday at his home. He was 74.
Justice Fitzgerald's 34-year judicial career was marked by duty, grace, innovation, and an unparalleled dedication to advancing the quality of justice for those he served. He was a model for integrity.
"Having joined the court shortly after his election in 2000, I had the privilege of serving with Justice Fitzgerald for a decade," Chief Justice Rita B. Garman said. "Before we both arrived on the Supreme Court, Justice Fitzgerald and I had known each other for almost 30 years – ever since we both became rather young members of the judiciary."
"Over the many years, he never changed. He was a warm and caring person, and even when on the bench, his demeanor revealed his genuine concern about the people who appeared before him. Tom Fitzgerald was dedicated to serving the people of Illinois and to making the judicial system as fair, efficient, and accessible as it could possibly be."
In addition to being a fine jurist, Chief Justice Garman said Justice Fitzgerald shared his gifts with others by teaching lawyers and other judges at numerous educational programs.
"He was also a true scholar of the life and work of Abraham Lincoln and a devoted man of faith," Chief Justice Garman added. "The people of Illinois were privileged to have Thomas Fitzgerald as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court for a decade, and I was privileged to be his colleague and friend."