Brian John Fitzpatrick, age 67, born October 28, 1952, on Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota, passed away on June 26, 2020, at home surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer. Brian was part of the baby boomer generation—his father, John Fitzpatrick, an Air Force military intelligence officer in World War II, and his mother, Charlotte Fitzpatrick, a war bride from Germany. He was the youngest of two, with an older sister Debra Kekaualua, and spent most of his early childhood traveling in Europe and in the United States due to his father’s transfers in the Air Force.
After his parents settled in Ventura, California, in the early 1960s, Brian attended Holy Cross Elementary School, Balboa Junior High School (where, he always boasted, he had served as the student body president in eighth-grade) and graduated from Buena High School in 1969. After high school, he attended UC San Diego, transferred to UC Santa Cruz, and later earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara in 1974. Some of Brian’s early jobs included IRS and oil field work, among others, but he ultimately chose to pursue a legal career and to attend the California Western School of Law in San Diego.
Brian met his first wife, Lisa Fournier Erdman (1961 – 2008), in 1981 and later married on July 17, 1982. In 1983, while attending law school, Brian’s first daughter, Maureen Bates (Fitzpatrick), was born. In 1986, Brian’s second daughter, Kelly Fitzpatrick, was born. After graduating from law school in 1985, Brian and Lisa moved back to Ventura where Brian spent the better part of his legal career working for the Ventura County Public Defender’s Office from 1987 to 1997.
On December 12, 1987, Brian married his second wife, Dale Ulery Fitzpatrick, already the mother of Sarah Roberts. In 1988, Brian’s third daughter, Caitlin Rodriguez (Fitzpatrick), was born. Upon marrying Dale, Brian converted to and became an active member of the Baha’i Faith. As part of his faith’s mission, Brian and Dale, with their four girls, moved to China in 1995 and taught English for a year. Traveling was an important part of Brian’s life, and he traveled often, alone and with his family. In fact, he returned to China twice more to teach English, and after returning from his first trip to China, obtained a teaching credential from the University of La Verne. As a result, he taught history for three years at Santa Paula High School.
In line with his political beliefs, Brian dedicated his adult life to giving back and to providing what he could to those in need. As a result, he offered pro bono legal work to many, including water protectors in North Dakota and asylum seekers, among others. In addition, Brian was in recovery nearly 39 years and devoted his life to his recovery and to the recovery community.
Brian was also a music fanatic and went to hundreds of concerts. He considered himself “Neil Young’s number one fan” or a “Rustie” as Neil Young fans call themselves.
The incredible life Brian lived touched thousands of people across the globe. His impact can be seen through the people he knew and regularly kept in touch with; he often found himself quite literally “running into people” in other parts of the world.
His love for travel, music, the law, and his political beliefs, greatly influenced all four of his daughters in their life endeavors. One of Brian’s greatest joys was in 2013 when his grandson, Dollin Jack Bates, was born to his daughter Maureen and her husband Jon.
Words cannot adequately express our love for and memory of Brian and the giant of a man he was.
Brian is survived by his wife Dale, his four daughters, Sarah, Maureen, Kelly, and Caitlin, his grandson, Dollin, his sister, Debra Kekaualua, her husband Punohu Jr., his two nephews, Punohu and Pohakukauea, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Cameron and Brenda Ulery, his mother-in-law, Midge Ulery, and his mother-in-law, Doris “Granny” Fournier.
Due to the current state of the world, his family is unable to hold a service immediately but intends to do so at a later date. They will provide service details once confirmed.
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