Br. Kenneth Fitzgerald taught math, founded bagpipe band

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The Manhattan College community mourns the death of Brother Kenneth Fitzgerald, FSC, who passed away on March 4 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Br. Kenneth was an associate professor emeritus of mathematics and computer science at Manhattan, a volunteer mathematics tutor and co-founder of the college’s Bagpipe Band.

Born in 1930 in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, Br. Kenneth was the son of immigrants from County Kerry, Ireland. He attended St. Raymond’s grammar school, run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, and went to St. Joseph’s High School in Barrytown, New York. Br. Kenneth officially joined the order of the De La Salle Christian Brothers on Sept. 7, 1947. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a Ph.D. in numerical analysis from the Catholic University of America.

In 1969, Br. Kenneth joined the mathematics department at Manhattan College, and also created a course in computer literacy, which is still offered every semester. An early proponent of coeducation, Br. Kenneth suggested in 1973 to a member of the faculty council that since the brothers taught women at the College of Mount St. Vincent, they should be allowed to officially enroll at Manhattan. He was moderator of the Irish Cultural Society (now called the Gaelic Society) and co-founded the college’s bagpipe band. An avid skier, golfer and swimmer, he retired from full-time teaching in 1996 to become the religious superior of the brothers’ community at Manhattan College.

There was a Mass of Christian Burial for Br. Kenneth at Manhattan College’s Chapel of De La Salle and his Brothers on March 9. He was interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

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