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About Austin and the Memorial Fund

Austin attended Catalina Foothills High School, playing football in his freshman and sophomore year. Following high school graduation, he enrolled in Pima Community College, and subsequently the University of Arizona. He took a job at Downtown Kitchen, which enabled him to live on his own and follow his dream of having a dog. He adopted his first husky, Aoki, from Pima Animal Care Center with his girlfriend, Alex. Aoki soon became the second love of his life. Shortly after that, he bought a red Husky named Zedd, who became his best friend and completed their family. In fact, his goal was to be able to rescue Huskies from PACC and adopt them out to loving families.

On December 3rd, 2013, Austin passed away at 19 years old after a 17-day battle with acute lung failure.

Austin was surrounded by his parents, god mother and many siblings who made up the rest of his loving family. His mother and step-father, Jenn and Steve Smith and his father and step-mother, John and Andrea FitzGerald and six siblings. Sarah FitzGerald, age 23, Madeleine FitzGerald, age 21, Maddysun FitzGerald, age 17, Jack FitzGerald, age 16, Finn Smith, age 9 and Fritz FitzGerald, age 5. Austin was extremely close to his God Mother, Becci Matheson. He loved spending parts of his summer in Colorado playing with her twins, Oliver and Rory. His parents were excited to see Austin create his new life as a young adult and take on new responsibilities in caring for his dogs, working and going to school. Austin looked up to Sarah for support and advise on being an independent student. He loved spending time with his sister Madeleine, who has three dogs of her own. His younger brother Jack often spent time bonding with Austin at his new house dreaming of his own independence. Austin loved being a big brother to Maddysun trying to help guide her through the trials and tribulations of high school. Austin loved playing with his little brothers, Finn and Fritz. Austin loved playing sports with Finn and would have been so happy to know he had started playing flag football. He enjoyed spending hours in the pool teaching Fritz how to swim while the huskies swam around them.

When Austin's family discussed establishing a memorial in his memory, all agreed that the one thing they could do, in addition to always remembering Austin and being with him in spirit, would be to establish a memorial whose purpose would be to provide a place where all can come to love and enjoy something that was very dear to Austin's heart. His passion for dogs, especially his dog Zedd, was deep and loving. Dogs brought him great joy and happiness.

As a result, Austin's family has established a memorial fund to create a dog park within a city park where individuals and families can bring their dogs to walk them, play with them, and spend time with them. This memorial will be permanent and will be a place that Austin would smile with joy and happiness to know that people and their dogs were enjoying the memorial park.

The Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Fund

What It Is

The Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Fund was created as a way not only to remember Austin but also to establish a memorial whose purpose would be to provide a place where all can come to love and enjoy something that was very dear to Austin's heart.

Many people share Austin's passion for dogs and how these companions bring joy and life to so many lives. This plan has unfolded into the creation of a dog park located in Tucson, Arizona. The Memorial Fund is an extension to fund and develop a sanctuary dedicated to Austin and his dog and companion, Zedd.

What We're Doing

The dog park will be an addition to Brandi Fenton Memorial Park and will include a spacious area for dogs to run and play in an obstacle course, dog splash pad, turf and more. Click on the link below to view the location and also the initial plans and concepts.

How You Can Help Make a Difference

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The Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Fund is managed by the Brandi Michelle Fenton Foundation which is a registered 501(c )3 organization. Donations to the Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Fund are tax-deductible.

Get In Touch

The foundation can be reached by the following:

Phone: (520) 647-7275

Donation Checks:

Payable to "Brandi Michelle Fenton Foundation" and in the memo field write "Austin Fitzgerald Memorial Dog Park". Then mail to:

Brandi Michelle Fenton Foundation
6340 N. Campbell Ave, Suite 240
Tucson, AZ 85718

The Plan

The plan that is being developed for the Austin FitzGerald Memorial is the construction of a dog park that will be located in Tucson, Arizona. This will be a tranquil place for those that love dogs to play and enjoy one another.

Currently the plan is under negotiation and additional details will surface as they become available.

Donate Online

You can easily make a donation online by filling in the fields below and then clicking "submit". You'll then be directed to PayPal where you can complete your donation securely.