Roy "Friday" Fitzgerald boasted many accomplishments in his personal and professional career, but is most remembered for the impact he had on DeMolay. In fact, he is recognized as the father of Oklahoma DeMolay.
Fitzgerald was born in Burden, Kansas, on November 13, 1907. His family moved to Tonkawa, Oklahoma, when he was in the second grade. He attended Tonkawa Public Schools and graduated from Tonkawa High School in 1925. During his high school years, Fitzgerald attended school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and was a three-year letterman in three sports (football, basketball, and baseball) which required practices and games after school. He then went home to sleep for a few hours before beginning his evening shift at a bakery from midnight until 7 a.m. Fitzgerald's enormous drive and energy, as well as his desire to do the best job that could possibly be done, showed in his daily work, as well as his work in different capacities for the betterment of our youth.
Fitzgerald was called to service with DeMolay by Frank S. Land in 1954. He served DeMolay in Kansas City as the Director of Field Activities and Assistant to the Founder and Secretary General for more than 2,400 chapters throughout fifty states and a dozen foreign countries. Prior to working in Kansas City, he served as Executive Officer of DeMolay in Oklahoma. During his last year as Executive Officer, twenty-three chapters were instituted in Oklahoma and an Annual Grand Master's Class was initiated with a record total of 998 candidates. Fitzgerald was one of only twenty-five who were awarded the Founder's Cross during Frank S. Land's lifetime. Fitzgerald was also an active member of DeMolay's International Supreme Council for many years.
In other youth activities, Fitzgerald was Past President of the Oklahoma Amateur Athletic Union, a founder/organizer and First National Chairman of the AAU Junior Olympic program, as well as the Past President of the Missouri Valley AAU Association. He also assisted in the original organization of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and promoted "Y" junior baseball throughout the state. He was a member of the Oklahoma Athletic Hall of Fame since 1975.
Masonry was also near and dear to Fitzgerald. He was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in Guthrie Consistory. He was the first Worshipful Master and Organizer of Day Lodge #547 AF&AM. He belonged to Siloam Lodge AF&AM #279, was a member of the India Shrine Temple, and Past Director of Oklahoma City Court #78, Royal Order of Jesters.
Fitzgerald was initiated into Tonkawa Chapter DeMolay in Tonkawa, Oklahoma, in 1924, where he served as Master Councilor. He is a Legion of Honor and Founder's Cross recipient. He served on DeMolay's International Supreme Council as Deputy (1952), Active (1953), and Emeritus (1988). Fitzgerald was inducted into the DeMolay Hall of Fame on June 19, 1998.
"DeMolay and Frank Land had a profound influence in my entire life."