Capt. Betsy Fitzgerel, of Williamsburg, died on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 60.
Capt. Fitzgerel was born in Naples, Italy to Capt. John H. and Jessanne R. Fitzgerel. As a Navy junior, she moved frequently eventually settling in Columbia where she graduated from the University of South Carolina with honors. She began law school at South Carolina, but soon found herself drawn to the Navy. She quit law school and went off to Officer Candidate School (OCS) to follow in her father’s footsteps.
Upon commissioning, she was assigned as a computer programming instructor at the Fleet Combat Training Center, Dam Neck. She then served in a variety of analyst and executive assistant positions in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence.
Although she never changed her designator to that of “intelligence officer,” she was, to all who knew her, a dedicated intelligence professional and a member of the intelligence fraternity. Capt. Fitzgerel was the commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Center, Fort Carson, Colorado.
After graduating from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces with a master’s degree in national security resource strategy, she served the branch head for Health Care Programs in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; deputy operational support officer for commander, U. S. Atlantic Fleet; deputy commander, Naval Reserve Readiness Command, Mid-Atlantic Region; and director, Manpower, Personnel and Training and Mobilization Policy Division, chief of Naval Reserve.
After retiring from the Navy, Betsy worked as a federal contractor with LMI and later as a civil servant with the Department of the Navy. Betsy’s service to her country, and in particular her service with the Navy, was among her proudest accomplishments. Her proudest accomplishment was adopting her daughter Genevieve via a truly adventurous trip to China in 1997.
A resident of Governor’s Land in Williamsburg since 2007, she loved walking and tennis and was an active member of the St. Bede Catholic Church choir.
Capt. Betsy is survived by her husband, Capt. John S. Allison Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.); her daughter, Genevieve Allison; her son, Andrew Allison; her mother, Jessanne R. Fitzgerel; sisters, Carol F. Doherty and Nancy F. Hammerer; and brother, M. Hill Fitzgerel.
A memorial service will be held for friends and family from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at the Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg. A funeral Mass will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.