Evon Gay FitzGerald
Our beloved husband and father, Evon Gay FitzGerald passed away on April 10, 2023 at the age of 87
after a long battle with heart disease. He was surrounded by his family at the moment of his passing
with his wife of 66 years holding his hand and speaking softly and lovingly to him.
He is survived by his wife, Inge Marie FitzGerald, his daughter and son-in-law, Gail FitzGerald and
Joseph Carollo, his son and daughter-in-law, Mark FitzGerald and Judy FitzGerald, 3 grandchildren,
and 2 great grandchildren.
Evon was born on July 12, 1935 in Olive Hill, Kentucky. He grew up working extremely hard on the family
farms in Kentucky and Ohio. Multiple injuries and sickness nearly took his life several times during
his childhood and it was a miracle that he survived to adulthood.
At the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army for a standard 3 year contract. He was assigned to the
signal core (electronic communications) and deployed to Fort Drum in New York. While there he and
a few other servicemen took the opportunity to take a tour of the Statue of Liberty, which was guided
by a couple of young lady volunteers from the local USO. One of these young ladies was Miss Inge
Nissen. Evon was infatuated by her name and her cute little white hat, in addition to her extremely
good looks. It was love at first sight and they married a couple of years later in December 1956.
Evon developed an interest in electrical engineering in the U.S. Army. After the couple was married
they moved to Columbus, Ohio so that he could attend Ohio State to get an A.S. in electrical engineering.
He began his 35+ year career in aerospace engineering at North American Aviation in Columbus.
On his birthday in 1962 Evon and Inge were blessed with their first child, Gail. The serendipitous birth
of Gail on his birthday was a tale he would tell the rest of his life, describing it as “the best birthday
In the spring of 1965 the young family moved to Melbourne, Florida so that Evon could take a better
position at Radiation Inc, which later became Harris Corp. Later that year they were blessed with their
second child, Mark. After the birth of Mark, Evon attended the Florida Institute of Technology and
after several years of taking night classes while working full time at Radiation, Evon earned his
bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Throughout the 1970’s he was involved in a variety of projects, including the Voyager projects, the
Space Shuttle, the B1 bomber, the Minuteman Missile program, and numerous others. By the early
1980’s he became very specialized in what is known as shielding – protecting sensitive
communications equipment from both electromagnetic interference and eavesdropping.
Evon had always loved fishing and he found life in Florida in the 1960’s and 70’s, with its bountiful
ocean waters, to be paradise on earth. He would go off shore as often as he could (pretty much every
Saturday) and made it a lifelong pursuit. He also loved flounder gigging and shrimping at Sebastian
Inlet. He supplied his family, friends, and numerous others with an abundance of fresh seafood for a
number of decades. He had numerous stories of these adventures, including the rescue of multiple
people both at sea and the inlet.
In the early 1990’s he was forced to retire from his aerospace career due to worsening cardiac health.
He continued to enjoy fishing well into the 21st century. Around 2005 or so his health would no longer
allow him to venture offshore but he continued to fish and shrimp at the inlet until just a few years
before his death.
Evon was forever grateful for the many blessings that the good Lord bestowed upon him and was
always amazed that a poor farm boy from the back hills of Kentucky had the opportunity to serve his
country as an Aerospace Engineer.
Evon will be sorely missed but we are comforted by the knowledge that he now is truly in Paradise.
His memorial service will be held at Brownlie-Maxwell Funeral Home, 1010 E. Palmetto Avenue, Melbourne on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to his church, Heritage Baptist Church: