The Passing of my good friend Ed Fitzpatrick. By Ray Leon
Well, it’s been a little over 10 days, and I’ve finally found the strength to speak openly about the passing of my dear friend, Mr. Ed Fitzpatrick (owner of Coliseum Lexus). I’ve struggled in trying to find the words that would appropriately describe not only our friendship, but what he truly meant to me personally, to many of his friends here in Oakland, of the impact he made on so many lives and to his overall graciousness and dedication to leaving things and conditions so much better in this life.
When I first met Ed (along with Robert Bobb, Larry Reid, Iris Merriouns, Gregory Hunter, Larry Gallegos, and others from the city of Oakland) I felt that there was something special about this man. His first request when he opened his business was, “FIND ME AN ORGANIZATION THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE”, and I will support them for as long as I’m here in Oakland. The partnership began between Coliseum Lexus and EOYDC (East Oakland Youth Development Center). That partnership exists to this day. It was his commitment to the youth in which they serve. Over the years, Ed continued to give whenever asked, and his love for the City of Oakland became apparent. Anyone who ever visited Coliseum Lexus were,more often than naught, greeted with the smile of the man himself…Ed Fitzpatrick. You see, he knew every customer personally, and he always made you feel that when you entered his business, you were family. (Just the number of the well attended events on the showroom floor made everyone feel special). It was Ed’s style which was unmatched.
Our friendship was more than just a well established City of Oakland-Coliseum Lexus established business. We became joined at the hip and “road dogs” with the game of golf, Warriors Basketball, and the love for fast cars. Along the way, Ed taught me how to navigate through meaningful discussions (as we called it) about our rival teams, favorite players, golf shots, and dealing with the Politics of Oakland.
Throughout our golf outings, I made a lot of friends who loved the game, and we (as ALL golfers do) critiqued EVERY SHOT. But no one did it better than Ed.
Our “friends foursome” became legendary. It consisted of me, Ed, Michael LeBlanc (Cuz), and the queen of our foursome, Darlene Ayers-Johnson (“Darleneee Martini”). It was Michael LeBlanc, who, after an AMAZING chip in birdie from Ed, nicknamed him “Butta”….because he was so smooth that day at Crow Canyon. This is how the four of us celebrated our birthdays every year. (See attached picture).
The other foursome that Ed shared with me was with 2 incredible golfers and overall good guys from Lexus. Paul Urrutia and Pete Jacobson. Our golf outings were LEGENDARY.
I’ve grown to know his family as my own. Ryan and Sean, his legacy will forever live in the both of you. Bertha, there are no words to describe the motherly love that you have shown me over the years. My prayers go out to all of you.
I’ve taken the liberty in posting Ed’s rememberance. Please keep this family in your prayers.
Rest In Peace, Ed “Butta” Fitzpatrick. I’ll hit em straight and long for you.
Editors: Post based on entry on Mr. Leon’s Facebook Profile Page, made with permission from Mr. Leon.