Monday, December 8, 2003

Creativity hallmark for Dan L. Fitzpatrick

He was designer, singer, model maker

By Joe Wessels
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP - Creativity took on many forms in the life of Daniel L. Fitzpatrick.

Whether it was singing, doing graphic design or building intricate architectural models, Mr. Fitzpatrick was good at what he did and had a knack for bringing people together. "Dan had a presence that would fill a room," said his son, John Helms of Anderson Township. The Anderson Township man died of emphysema Nov. 27, just a day shy of his 75th birthday. Mr. Fitzpatrick donated his body to the University of Cincinnati for medical study.

When Mr. Fitzpatrick won $50 as a student at Withrow High School in a model-making competition, he realized he could earn a living doing what he loved. In 1960, he founded Custom Graphics of Cincinnati. He spent a career designing models of everything from Lunken Airport to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and countless model-home designs for builders around the Tristate. Many of those models have been on display around the Cincinnati area and have been seen by thousands.

Roy Wergers met Mr. Fitzpatrick in 1969. The two friends were members of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing in America.

"It's a cult group," Wergers said. "When you get in that group, it's a way of life."

The group performed at many Cincinnati venues including Music Hall. They also traveled the world to perform and Mr. Fitzpatrick was especially proud of performances at New York's Carnegie Hall.

Survivors include his wife, Joyce; three sons, Richard Schulok of Mount Washington, and John Helms and Bill Schulok, both of Anderson Township; four daughters, Monica McAffry of Mount Washington, Marty Helms-Grevas of Anderson Township, and Vicki Helms and Deborah Stansell, both of Cherry Grove; and 25 grandchildren.

Memorials can be made to the American Lung Association of Southwest Ohio, 11113 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati 45242.

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Creativity hallmark for Dan L. Fitzpatrick
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