Dianne Justine Fitzgerald, 56

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Dianne Justine Fitzgerald, 56, of St. Michael, Minnesota, died Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Dianne Justine Fitzgerald, 56

Dianne Justine Fitzgerald was born on July 29, 1963, in Austin, Minnesota, the second youngest of four children to Duane and Darleen (Ferguson) Hansen. She grew up on the family farm, where she developed her love for animals. There were horses, calves, dogs, cats, rabbits, and a goat. She rode horses competitively and for pleasure most of her childhood. One year on the farm, there were 39 cats and kittens. Dianne and her sister, Dawn, gave names to everyone of them.

She graduated from Austin High School in 1981. She went on to work at her family’s restaurant, the Riviera Supper Club. She gained valuable experience and skills there, which she put to good use the rest of her career in many different establishments.

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She moved to Rochester, Minnesota, where she met her soulmate, Paul Fitzgerald, whom she affectionately called Pauly. They moved to the Twin Cities and were married on March, 17, 1997, in Stillwater, Minnesota, by a judge who was painted in green for St. Patrick’s Day. Her brother, Dallas, to whom she was very close, was one of their witnesses on that special day. Dianne and Paul did not have a child together, but they did have many puppies: Muffy, Lucy and Gracie. They loved them very much and treated them like they were their children. She had two stepdaughters, Katie (Fitzgerald) Welp, who spent some time and shared some great memories while in high school, and Caroline (Fitzgerald) Monson, who gives Dianne credit for teaching her how to cook. Caroline and Dianne talked daily for a couple of years before Dianne very ill. She also had a stepson, Matthew Fitzgerald, and a step grandson, Linkin, who visited her in the hospital. Dianne was a tough little (tomboy) girl and grew up to be a beautiful and strong woman when she was healthy. After she fell nine years ago, her health steadily went downhill. Her loving and devoted husband, Pauly, took care of her in their home in St. Michael. Their love and commitment to each other was amazing and inspiring.

Dianne is survived by her husband, Paul; his children, Caroline, Katie, Sean and Matthew; many grandchildren; her parents, Duane and Darleen Hansen; her brothers, Dallas Hansen and Derrick (Terrie) Hansen; her nieces, Ashley, Hannah, Stephanie, Kimberly and Tanya; her nephew, Kevin; her great-nieces, Gracie, Roslyn, Leah, Gabrielle and Emma; and her great-nephews, Caleb, Jalen, Brandon, Logan, Ethan and Dillon. Dianne was preceded in death by her sister, Dawn (Hansen) Ehret.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Liberty Restaurant and Bar, American Legion Post 567 in St. Michael.