Rebecca Keefe Fitzsimmons

Rebecca Keefe Fitzsimmons

Friday, April 12th, 1968 - Friday, November 15th, 2019
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Rebecca S. Fitzsimmons, age 51, passed away peacefully at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse lovingly surrounded by her family and friends on Friday, November 15, 2019.  She was born April 12, 1968, in Norwich, NY to Richard and Joan (Walker) Keefe. She was a 1986 graduate of Sherburne-Earlville Central School and 1990 graduate of Cazenovia College.

Rebecca was a locally well-known musician and entertainer. From a very early age, she was given the sweet title of ‘little songbird’ as she sang wherever she went. Rebecca was the daughter of a music teacher mother and an ‘Irish Tenor’ singing father as well as being the youngest member of a large musical family. She was continually immersed and surrounded by music from the day she was born. This strong musical foundation nurtured an extraordinary singing voice and a keen ear for harmony and for any music style.

Some of her very early performances were for the musical theater stage. She starred in many lead parts over her lifetime for the Sherburne Music Theater Society, Sherburne-Earlville Central School and the Earlville Opera House, the first one being at age 7 as Gretl in “The Sound of Music”. Rebecca's music and infectious happy spirit brought such great joy to all who encountered her. She could often be found performing in many local venues, providing music at weddings, happy hours, her favorite summertime ‘gigs’ at Alexandria Bay as well as local Blues and Jazz fests. For many years she was the lead vocalist for ‘Red Raville’s Big Band Sounds’.    Rebecca possessed a deep and abiding love for her family and friends, for every animal imaginable, and for the diversity and beauty of nature. Rebecca also worked as a private home health aide for the elderly and her clients loved her as she brought a gift of sunshine and thoughtful care to people who needed it most. 

At age 8, Rebecca was diagnosed with Juvenile Type 1 diabetes and spent her life living with the challenges of the disease. Despite the obstacles, Rebecca lived life to the fullest and possessed a ‘rainbows and butterflies’ optimism, a phrase coined by and inherited from her mother, for she saw the good and positive in everyone and everything, no matter the situation. 

Rebecca is survived by her loving partner, Rick TenEyck of Syracuse, NY, her son, Sullivan Wunderlich of Liverpool, NY and her therapy dog, Brady. She is also survived by her brothers and sisters; Richard Keefe of Earlville, NY, Anne Caton (Michael) of Earlville, NY, Kevin Keefe of Erieville, NY, Laura Fagan (Thomas) of Earlville, NY, James Keefe (Beth) of New Berlin, NY and Joan VanDuser (Nate) of East Syracuse, NY, as well as many loving nieces and nephews.

Her mother and father, Joan and Richard Keefe and a brother, Daniel predeceased Rebecca.

There will be a celebration of Rebecca’s life in June of 2020.

A special thank you to the Doctors and Nurses at the ICU in Upstate Medical Hospital, Syracuse, NY. Their extraordinary care and kindness remind us there are true angels on earth.

Contributions in Rebecca’s memory may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Association or Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter, 6660 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078 or to The Earlville Opera House,
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Joanne Marshall (Bergner)

Posted at 03:54pm
So sorry for your loss, Becky was a beautiful person. To know her was to love her. She will be truly missed. Sending prayers your way. 💗🙏💗

John Garofalo

Posted at 02:54pm
I am still in shock the Rebecca is gone! She always had a smile, a song and brought joy to so many. I feel honored to be her friend, and will always miss her! My sincere condolences to her family.

Aino Parlo

Posted at 01:10pm
To Rebecca's family, Rick, and friends, of whom there are many,
I am so saddened to hear of the loss of Rebecca, her beautiful voice and sweet, kind personality. She was such an inspiration as she always emanated joy no matter the circumstances and she perservered through some difficult situations. She held our northside Christmas caroling group together each year with her guitar and harmonies. That made it so special. I will miss her greatly.

Barb Fowler

Posted at 04:19pm
We truly loved her sweet voice spirit & soul. Our deepest sympathy. Jim a& Barb Fowler

Dianne Adams McDowell

Posted at 04:16pm
Every time my husband, Jim, and I would go to listen to dear Red Raville’s Big Band, one of the true highlights for me was when Becky would come to the center mic and sing a couple of numbers. Her voice was flawless and, as she sang, Joy seemed to shine right through her smiling eyes, almost as if the sun was standing behind her. Music was God’s gift to Becky. And Becky was His gift to us. I imagine that the sun is still shining brightly on her, but our world has, surely, dimmed a bit.

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