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Memories & Candles

“Bonnie, Kim, Mabel and all of the family, I am deeply saddened to have recently learned of your loss. I knew Fannie as a friend, a fellow VUU alumnus...Read More »
1 of 23 | Posted by: Rev. Rose M. Robinson - Columbia, MD

“My dearest Mrs.Fitszerald .I'm so sorry to hear of your passing. You at the times were that light in dark places for us and hope for our future. You...Read More »
2 of 23 | Posted by: florence Stewart - Classmate

“Benita and Kim:I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your familes during this difficult...Read More »
3 of 23 | Posted by: Michele Evans - Haymarket, VA

“Your sweet, precious mother always greeted me with her smile. Her gracious manner made her welcomed by all. And she raised two gracious women and...Read More »
4 of 23 | Posted by: Joyce O Jones - Woodbridge, VA

“Sorry for your loss. ”
5 of 23 | Posted by: Fannie Nickens - Manassas, VA

“Our heart felt condolence is extended to the Fitzgerald family. May the Lord continue to bless and keep your family close during this time of...Read More »
6 of 23 | Posted by: William and Arlea Daily - Friend

“Sorry for your loss.Ex student.Fannie Davis Nickens of Manassas Va. ”
7 of 23 | Posted by: Fannie Davis Nickens - Manassas, VA

“Sorry for your loss.Ex student Fannie Davis Nickens of Manassas Va. ”
8 of 23 | Posted by: Robin Harris - Student

“Sorry for your loss of your mother.Harris family of Reston Va. ”
9 of 23 | Posted by: Robin Harris - Friend

“Sorry for your loss of your mother.Ex student .Fannie Davis Nickens of Manassas Va.6 ”
10 of 23 | Posted by: Robin Harris - Reston, VA

“Sorry for your loss.Ex student.Fannie Davis Nickens .Manassas Va. ”
11 of 23 | Posted by: Robin Harris. - Reston, VA

“Sorry for your loss.Ex student.Fannie Davis Nickens .Manassas Va. ”
12 of 23 | Posted by: Robin Harris - reston, VA

“I am sorry to hear about your loss. Your Mother was my teacher many years ago. She was loved by many. Marva Atwater ”
13 of 23 | Posted by: Marva Lansdowne Atwater - Friend

“Kim, I so sorry on the passing of your mother. She was always the warmest and kindest woman I've ever known. My thoughts and prayers for all of you. ”
14 of 23 | Posted by: Meg Gruber - Midlothian, VA

“Benita, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Sending prayers of comfort to you and your family. ”
15 of 23 | Posted by: Christine Taylor Colorado Springs

“Our deepest sympathy and prayers to the family during this difficult time. ”
16 of 23 | Posted by: Jean Harry - Dumfries, VA

“We can never say enough about the greatness of Mrs Fitzgerald Our son Reginald's success is partly because of her guidance at Dale City Elem.; our...Read More »
17 of 23 | Posted by: Barbara & George Wilks - MD

“May god's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this sad and difficult time. Psalms 119 : 50,76 EJC. GA. ”
18 of 23 | Posted by: A friend

“Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time. ”
19 of 23 | Posted by: From the staff of Ames Funeral Home - VA

“It was my pleasure to attend Fred M. Lynn MS when you helped with desegregation in the '60's - your husband was my math teacher at Gar-Field, my...Read More »
20 of 23 | Posted by: Dianne Stevens - Murrells Inlet, SC

“Rest In peace , prayers for your family , and my respect for your legacy in PWC Education, years of dedication and to be one of the First 4 African...Read More »
21 of 23 | Posted by: MiChele Thomas - Fairfax, VA

“Kim- I was so sad to hear about your mom. My prayers for peace and comfort are with you and your family. Love- Pat ”
22 of 23 | Posted by: Pat Donahue - Woodbridge, VA

“Mrs. Fitzgerald was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful person inside and out, God Bless your family Benita and may he wrap his arm around your...Read More »
23 of 23 | Posted by: geraldine Grayson - manassas, VA


Education pioneer and icon Fannie Wilkinson Fitzgerald died on April 7, 2016 at the age of 85, surrounded by family and friends.

Fannie Wilkinson Fitzgerald was born in Amelia County, Virginia on July 27, 1930, the youngest of the eleven children born of Reverend Isaiah Immanuel Wilkinson and Lavinia Johnson Wilkinson. Her parents instilled in Fannie and her siblings a reverence for God, love for their fellow man and the importance of an education.

Mrs. Fitzgerald graduated from Russell Grove High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Virginia Union University in 1952. Her first teaching position was as head teacher at a two-room school in Amelia that had no cafeteria, indoor plumbing, or central heating. After teaching there for three years, Mrs. Fitzgerald decided to relocate to make a better life for herself. She applied for graduate school but was denied entry to universities in Virginia because she was African-American. The Commonwealth of Virginia granted her a full scholarship to attend Columbia University in New York City, and she graduated with a master's degree in Special Education in 1960.

In August of 1956, Mrs. Fitzgerald was offered a job at Antioch-McCrae Elementary, a school for African-Americans in the western end of Prince William County. After graduate school, she began teaching at the Jennie Dean School in Manassas, Virginia. She married her husband, the late Rodger Pierpont Fitzgerald in June 1959, and they were married for 54 years until his death in June 2013.

Mrs. Fitzgerald pioneered the integration of Prince William County Public Schools in 1964, when she was appointed by the school board to transfer from Antioch-McCrae to what was then the all-white Fred Lynn Elementary and Middle School. As a result of the hard work, fortitude and courage demonstrated by Fannie and three other teachers, Prince William County Public schools were fully integrated in September of 1965, which opened the door to today's diverse and inclusive school system.

When asked about being one of the first teachers to integrate Prince William County Public Schools, Mrs. Fitzgerald replied, "Children are children. It doesn't matter what color they are." During the 1964-65 school year, Mrs. Fitzgerald became the first African-American to teach at Manassas Park Elementary School, and in 1968, was selected to be the first elementary supervisor of the integrated schools in Prince William County.

Mrs. Fitzgerald's longest service was to students at Dale City Elementary School from 1971-1988. During those years, she was a fourth grade teacher and a learning disabilities specialist, and later in her career, oversaw learning disabilities programs for all of Prince William County Schools. After thirty-five years of outstanding service, Mrs. Fitzgerald retired in June of 1988. She has continued to volunteer and serve the children of Prince William County in numerous ways as a community leader.

As a result of Fannie W. Fitzgerald's historic contributions to Prince William County Public Schools, the school board voted unanimously to name an elementary school for her. Located on Benita Fitzgerald Drive, a street named for her oldest daughter, an Olympic gold medalist, the school stands as a testament to academic excellence. Her youngest daughter, Kim Fitzgerald Lennon, has been an educator at the school since its opening in the fall of 2008. Mrs. Fitzgerald enjoyed visiting her school frequently and interacting with students. Her presence would always illuminate a room, and the students and staff loved her dearly and enjoyed seeing her at school events.

Mrs. Fitzgerald is survived by her daughters, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley and Kim Fitzgerald Lennon; sons-in-law Ronald Mosley and Antonio Lennon; four grandchildren, Isaiah Mosley, Maya Mosley, Antoinette Lennon and Olivia Lennon; two sisters Susie Holmes and Mabel Thornton, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family, friends, and community leaders will gather to honor the life and legacy of Mrs. Fannie W. Fitzgerald on Friday, April 15 at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries Virginia. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m., the home going service at 11:00, and Internment at 1:00 at Quantico National Cemetery.

Funeral Home
Ames Funeral Home
8914 Quarry Road Manassas, VA 20110
Tel. (703) 368-2814

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