FRIENDS and family will remember an ever-buzzing entrepreneurial mind as they farewell Toney Fitzgerald at his funeral this Saturday.
Mr Fitzgerald died on Wednesday after an almost seven-year battle with cancer.
The 57-year-old was best known as a career coach, for his untiring efforts to restore Walkers Brewing Co and for bringing high-profile sporting events to Orange.
He was also a volunteer with the Orange and District Historical Society.
Nephew Josh Fitzgerald said after the death of his father 12 years ago, Mr Fitzgerald had been a father figure to him for quite some time.
“We were really close and he helped me get to where I am – I started One Agency because of his inspiration,” he said.
The pair were also diagnosed with cancer a month apart.
“We went through that journey together, but I was lucky enough to get out the other side.”
He described his uncle as tough on people who disappointed him, but generous when they were most at need.
I helped him out and he kept turning up.John Kich
“Just before he died, he had two business names ready to go and he had people running around for him,” he said.
“He was always on the move and that’s what helped him get so far.”
John Kich met Mr Fitzgerald 12 years ago when the former was working at Orange City Council.
He said Mr Fitzgerald was quizzing the employee at the reception desk about the history of Orange when she called upon Mr Kich to assist.
“He asked me a couple of questions and that was it,” he said.
“I helped him out and he kept turning up.”
Mr Fitzgerald spend eight months staying with Mr Kich and his wife, Judy, as his health worsened last year.
During that time, they travelled all over the region so Mr Fitzgerald got to see as much as he could.
“We called it Fitzy and Kichy, the Brothers from Other Mothers Road Trip,” Mr Kich said with a laugh.
“He wanted to do something each day.”
Mr Fitzgerald will be farewelled at a 10am service at the Penhall Memorial Chapel at 33 William Street.
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