NORTH BROOKFIELD- Stephen David Fogarty, 77, passed away on Saturday, January 18, 2020 with his family by his side at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester after a long illness. Stephen was born on September 12, 1942 to John E Fogarty Sr and Helen (McDonnell) in Worcester. Stephen then lived in Florida until he was 9, at which time he returned to Massachusetts, living in Worcester and Framingham. Upon graduating High School, Stephen attended WPI to study Chemical Engineering. From 1965 to 1967, Stephen was enlisted in the US Army and was a part of the Vietnam Conflict. Upon his return, Stephen acquired the “Penguin Ice Cream Shoppe” where he met his wife, Ruth (Alexander).
Stephen closed his ice cream shops and went to work for his brother James (Jim) in the plastics industry. He then worked for Autex Systems as a computer programmer. After Transitioning to Fidelity investments (Where he retired after 20 years) Stephen was the lead programmer on the Stratus system, which managed electronic trades in the stock market.
Ruth and Stephen were married just shy of 42 years, having started their family in Westboro, where they lived for 8 years, and later North Brookfield for 35. Ruth and Stephen have two sons, Shaun, in Portland, Oregon, and Andrew in Franklin, MA. Stephen is the grandfather to 3 children, Haileigh, 15, Nathan, 12, Kyle, 10, from Andrew and his former wife Kandice. Stephen is also an extended grandfather to Kandice and James Johnston’s daughter Ayla Joy, 2, also of Franklin, which he affectionately referred to as his “Bonus Baby”
In his spare time, Stephen was involved in the VFW and American Legion of North Brookfield as well as the local Boy Scout Troop 257, where he served as treasurer and Committee Chair. Additionally, Stephen was an avid pilot, having found his passion at 9 in Homestead, FL. Stephen flew, and owned small planes, including a Cessna 170 and a 1947 Aronca Champ. As a member of local flying clubs, Stephen formed numerous lasting friendships, including Jim, Glenn, Chris, Don, and many more. He and Mike Lussier frequently flew on Sundays to nearby airports in New England and New York where he would meet his friends for breakfast as well as making their annual pilgrimages to the Oshkosh WI EAA Air Show.
When not flying, Stephen enjoyed his Sunday rides with Ruth looking for the ultimate ice cream stand. Kimball’s in Lancaster and Jaffrey were their favorites. They loved traveling together, including their February trips to Florida and the annual Fogarty Family Reunion. Stephen loved his Irish heritage. In 2012, he became an Irish citizen on his 70th birthday. He organized the two Fogarty Reunions to Ireland in 1997 and 2015. As a whim, he and Ruth spent St. Patrick’s Day 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. Stephen’s last trip was to Portland Oregon for the 42nd annual Family Reunion.
Stephen hated the cold. He enjoyed drinking his morning coffee on the porch, in Florida, while watching the sun rise. Stephen was also protective and proud of his Friends and Family, continuing to take his friend Aaron to his appointments, even as his own health faded. Loyal to a fault, he was not one you wanted to cross.
Stephen is survived by his sister Ann Marie (Fogarty) Stansbury of Northbridge, MA. Several cousins, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Stephen is predeceased by his Angel Baby, Clara Elizabeth Johnston, his son, Stephen Fogarty Jr., his parents John and Helen, his sister Sarah Jane (Knowlton), and brothers John Jr (Jack) and James (Jim).
Ruth, Shaun and Andrew would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to all of his doctors and the staff in the PCCU and the ICU. A very special thank you to Pat and Frank Potter for all the support long before and during his illness.
There will be no calling hours or funeral per his wishes. There will be a Celebration of his Life at a later date when the weather is warm. Remember, he hated the cold. Pillsbury Funeral Home 44 Gilbert St North Brookfield is directing arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his memory to one of the following: The Friends of the Haston Free Public Library, 161 North Main St, North Brookfield, MA 01535 or North Brookfield Troop 257 c/o Bob Pariseau, 8 Mt. Pleasant Place, North Brookfield, MA 01535