Cover photo for Margaret Eileen (Grehan)  Fitzgerald's Obituary
Margaret Eileen (Grehan)  Fitzgerald Profile Photo

Margaret Eileen (Grehan) Fitzgerald

September 6, 1932 — December 21, 2023

Margaret Eileen (Grehan) Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, Margaret (Eileen)

91, died December 21, 2023.  Eileen was born in Co. Sligo, Ireland, to John and Molly Grehan. She was raised in Cloonacool, surrounded by her loving family Mick, Bride, Mame, Patrick, Kathleen, Joseph, Shane, Ann and Paschal.  She immigrated with her sister, Bride, to their Aunt Margaret’s home in Northeast Minneapolis where they tried to like drinking coffee, learned to drive and became Minnesotan. Their cousin’s Mary, Peggy, Eddie and Robbie introduced them to American life.  She met many wonderful friends at Catholic Youth dances including her loving husband, Jack.  They had a riot double dating with the Collins’s and Brownrigg’s who became life-long friends.  They celebrated many weddings, Baptisms, First Communions, and Christmas’ together.  Eileen and Jack were godparents to many of their friends’ and family’s kids.  They were honored as they were practicing Catholics their whole life.

Eileen loved her tea and toast.  There wasn’t a problem that couldn’t be solved over a good cup of tea and a sweet.  She loved traveling back home to Ireland with her sisters to visit her brothers, extended family and friends.  She and Jack took their son Brian, his wife and 3 grandsons on an Irish adventure which they still talk about today. For her 70th birthday, she and her daughter Rachel climbed the Tullavilla Mountains with her brother Paschal and sister Kathleen, her nephews, Kieran and Shane and their wives.  They had to see the lake at the top of the mountain that they used to visit as children.  Their cousin, John O’Connor, was a nervous wreck when the fog rolled in thinking they would get lost.  They followed his farm’s fence line down to safety and a cup of tea.

One of Eileen’s favorite past times was going out to lunch and shopping with her daughter, Maureen.  Their once-to-twice weekly outings kept Eileen fashionable and well supplied with gifts for her grandsons. They closed out the day in Eileen’s kitchen with a good cup of tea and a sweet.

Eileen loved taking care of her house inside and out.  She ran the household so her husband could work hard starting and successfully running a small business.  She even pinched in at times to help him out with back office duties.  Having dinner as a family was a priority and it always seemed to include potatoes.  She made the best Irish stew complete with cabbage to her kid’s disappointment.  She took pride in having a clean, organized home and making every holiday special.  Christmas was her favorite time of year.

She loved entertaining her in-laws and Jack’s sister, Rita and brother-in-law Monte, and kids.  She could fit 6 adults and 6 kids in her home and provide great 4th of July weekends of picnics and fireworks.

She hated the water but took adult swimming lessons with her girlfriends, Dorothy and Pat.  She feared having to rescue a child on her and Jack’s Sunday boating adventures on Lake Minnetonka. She always made the best sandwiches and treats for the outings which many times included the Gherity’s.

Survived by her children Brian (Kit) Fitzgerald, Maureen Fitzgerald and Rachel O’Brien (Rob), grandsons, Daniel (Tina) Fitzgerald, John (Jill) Fitzgerald and Kevin (Ashley) Fitzgerald, great granddaughter Maya Fitzgerald and brother Paschal (Nancy) Grehan.  In her final days, she held her 7 month old great granddaughter who she could make giggle.  She beamed when holding Maya.

She was proud of all her nieces and nephews: Kieran (Elizabeth) Gherity, Mike (Diane) Gherity, Ann (Steve) Ramsland, Tish (Gilbert) Jimenez, Shawn Gherity, Patricia (Thomas) Alexander, Sheila (Terry) Lee, Shane (Shelley) Kudela, Devin Kudela, Tara Kudela, Colin (Johanna) Kudela, Catrine (Mark) Heil, John Grehan, Lori (Chris) ScottRussell, Brendan Grehan, Karen (Mark) McCubbin, John (Connie) Nelson and Diane (Jim) Nelson.

Preceded in death by her adoring husband Jack and son-in-law Brent Peterson. Her parents John and Molly Grehan, parents-in-laws John and Clara Fitzgerald, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Rita and LaMonte Nelson, sisters Bride (Ed) Gherity, Mame (Jerry) Liefert, Kathleen Kudela (John), Ann Wessel-Berg (Ole), her brothers and niece Megan Schofill.

Thank you to Fr. Bob White of St. Victoria Catholic Church for providing Eileen with a Christmas Blessing to begin her journey to heaven.

We are deeply indebted to the team at Chaska Heights Senior Living who kept Eileen safe, well fed and entertained these last 7 years. Our family was relieved she could spend her final days with the wonderful nursing staff and aids she loved and trusted.  We are grateful. Thank you Park Nicollet Hospice for working with this great team.

In honor of our mother’s wishes, we are having a private Mass.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Eileen (Grehan) Fitzgerald, please visit our flower store.


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