Margaret Fitton (née Flynn), daughter of Edward and Mary Flynn (née Medvesky), passed away at the age of 87 on December 3, 2017. She was born on August 8, 1930, and raised in an Irish and immigrant neighborhood of Manhattan, where she was a member of St. Francis de Sales Parish.
In 1954 she married John Fitton, also of Manhattan, after his return from the Army. They moved to the Bronx and then to Rockland County in 1960, where they became active members of St. Anthony's Parish in Nanuet.
She had ten children: John Paul (Ariadne), Regina (Richard Hendrickson), Michael, Peter (Ping), Robert (Tara), Christopher (Jacqueline), Thomas (Kelli), David, Stephen (Makindra), and Elizabeth (Anthony Dick). While raising her children she attended night school for several years, ultimately receiving her nursing pin shortly after having her tenth child in her mid 40s. After working in hospitals she became the co-owner and operator of a home health agency (Angelica Nursing).
In the late 1960s and early 1970s she became heavily involved in politics. She was instrumental in the start of the pro-life movement both in New York State and nationwide, first serving as co-founder and co-chair of the Rockland County Right to Life Movement, and then running for state office on the Right-to-Life ticket. On two separate occasions she was arrested and jailed as a result of civil disobedience involving peaceful protests against the killing of unborn children. During her brief time in jail she befriended several women inmates and became an activist for improved prison conditions at the women’s prison in Valhalla. Her devotion to society’s most vulnerable lives, as well as to her Catholic Faith, never flagged. Through her efforts, St. Anthony's Shrine Church installed a shrine to the unborn for those who have suffered the loss of an unborn child, through stillbirth, miscarriage or abortion, or of a child who lived for just a short time.
A member of the Third Order of St. Francis, she also enjoyed her animals, traveling, reading, praying, music, flowers, and her friends, whom she loved so much. In her final years she was blessed by the love and care of her children, her close friends, and her home health aides, Micheline Chery, Marie Cyprien, and Patricia Laurent.
In addition to her children, she is survived by 26 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, as well as her former daughters-in-law Marguerite Gallagher and Jennifer Chia. She is predeceased by her husband John, her brother James, and her son John Paul.
A wake will be held at the Joseph W. Sorce funeral home, Inc, 728 West Nyack Road West Nyack, NY 10994, on Thursday, December 7th (4-7pm); and Friday, December 8th (2-4pm and 7-9pm). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet, NY, on Saturday, December 9th, at 10am. Burial to follow in the church cemetery.
Donations in her name can be made to Good Counsel Homes (http://goodcounselhomes.org) in Spring Valley, NY, and to the Joe Raso Hospice Residence (http:// hospiceofrockland.org) in New City, NY.