NEW ORLEANS — The Tulane athletics department lost a longtime family member as Lurlyn “Ms. Fitz” Fitzpatrick died Wednesday of natural causes at Ochsner Hospital in Jefferson. She was 93.
Fitzpatrick worked as the Green Wave’s football secretary from 1964-2001 before serving as a special assistant to the athletic director and a member of the Tulane Athletics Fund from 2001 until her retirement in 2005. She was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993 — one of two nonathletes to receive the honor — and received the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame’s Special Award in 2011.
“We are saddened by the news of the passing of Ms. Fitz,” Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson said. “Few programs have been influenced so much by the caring and personal touch shown the thousands of young student-athletes that was a hallmark during her tenure at Tulane. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Ms. Fitz is a better person today as a result. I speak for many in saying we will miss her.”
Fitzpatrick began her Tulane career in September 1964, when she provided administrative assistance to then-head coach Tommy O’Boyle. Fitzpatrick also served as a motherly figure to the school’s football players.
Her dedication was recognized by former Tulane lettermen in 2008 when the Ms. Fitz Football Endowment Fund was established by the players who refer to themselves as “Ms. Fitz’ Boys.”
“I used to tell my friends that my mother was one of the few people I knew who woke up every morning and said, ‘Oh goodie, I’m going to work today,’ ” said Lynn Mann, Fitzpatrick’s eldest daughter. “She truly bled blue and green. It was the perfect job for her because she was a terrific secretary, and she loved sports.”
Fitzpatrick is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans (6367 St. Charles Ave.) with visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the funeral slated for 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations be sent to the Ms. Fitz Football Endowment Fund (http://www.TulaneGreenWave.com/MsFitz) or to Holy Name of Jesus Church.