A Sad Note to Trollope Society Members

Every organization if really lucky, finds someone who is as gracious, charming and diligent as Midge (Mildred) Fitzgerald. She has been my right hand and good friend ever since the first few months of the Trollope Society, and has graced us with her time and talents all this time. Sadly, Midge died early on Monday August 28, in New Bern, North Carolina, after a short hospitalization.

It is literally impossible to recount how much she brought to our Society, because she just did it when things needed doing. I knew I could utterly rely on her, and as time went on, I came to realize that she was more than a good worker and often with better judgement and discretion, not to mention, more social grace than I could muster in many situations. So rather than “manage” her, I asked her what I could do to help her. And from time to time, asked her opinion of ideas and plans I had for the Society.

Since Midge knew all the membership and dealt with them and their problems, issues and questions, my interference was rarely needed, and largely extraneous. I believe the entire membership came to know her in that capacity, and those who did remembered her grace, tact, and politesse, not to mention that lovely quiet sense of humor which I particularly cherished. I am sure most of the members can attest to all these virtues, and may have personal memories of particular examples. Midge and I would start a phone call meeting with a few issues to resolve, and they would evolve into a personal conversation, sometimes personal, sometimes anecdotal – always punctuated with humor and the relish of a true friendship. And it was always with reluctance that we would need to hang up …. or as we used to say, “Put a bookmark in it”.

I believe that this Society would have been far less of a joy to me personally and to you all, without her. I have been missing her ever since she decided to leave New York and take up residence among her family in coastal North Carolina. As one little example of her kindly gentle wit, when she was planning to relocate, one of her numberless friends and admirers said “You’ll hate it! They put gravy on everything!”

You will know, some of you, that Midge was very sophisticated and well aware of all the social graces. Why else would I have completely relied on her to seat the tables for the Annual Dinner? I had thought of myself as reasonably sophisticated and urbane, but by comparison, I was almost boorish. Midge could put a shine on everything without anyone knowing.

It is entirely appropriate to say that I dearly loved having this woman as a close friend, confidante, and collaborator.

Yours in sadness and fond remembrance,

Randy Williams

Posted on: August 30th, 2017 by Randy Williams

3 Responses

  1. patsy davis says:

    I hope she made sure that gravy was served on everything at the annual dinner.

  2. Charles Jenkins says:

    Midge was always such a pleasure to interact with, thoughtful and gracious. She will be much missed. Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt tribute.

  3. Melanie Kirkpatrick says:

    Randy has beautifully captured the spirit of this lovely lady. Midge was the “face” of the Trollope Society. She was gracious, helpful and always responsive. I will miss her.

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