Michael was born on March 31, 1970, in Rochester, MN, to Michael and Margaret FitzGerald. He was raised in Skaneateles, NY, and attended high school at Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, RI. He graduated from Hobart College in 1993 and lived in Budapest, Hungary, before returning to the U.S. and relocating to San Francisco, where he met his future wife, Catherine Jones. Michael earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana in 2000 While in graduate school, he taught himself computer programming. He then worked as a software developer in Boise, ID, while writing a novel, Radiant Days, published in 2007.
Following the births of their two sons, Ignatius and Eamon, the Michael and Catherine settled permanently in Missoula. In 2010, Michael and two partners founded the software company Submittable, which provides a platform for businesses, Grantmaker’s, and other organizations to accept applications and manage social impact campaigns. Michael served as Submittable’ s CEO until 2020, growing the company from a three-person startup to one employing more than 100 people, with millions of users worldwide.
Outside of his professional life, Michael enjoyed skiing, running, writing, reading, and following the Buffalo Bills. He will be remembered not only for his remarkable professional achievements but for his fierce devotion to his family and the generous good humor he extended to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Michael is survived by his wife, Catherine, and their two sons, Ignatius and Eamon. He is also survived by his parents, Michael and Margaret FitzGerald; and his siblings, Megan FitzGerald, Brendan FitzGerald (Tsam Lim), Patrick FitzGerald (Jennifer FitzGerald), and Maura Blacker. He will be deeply missed by his nephews and nieces: Tristan, Lucky, Kira, Emmett, Callum, Rowan, Gavin, Fynn, Tallulah, and Willa.
A ceremony to celebrate Michael's life will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023 at 10am, at St. Mary's of the Lake in Skaneateles, NY. Following the service, a reception will be held to honor his memory. A memorial service in Missoula will be scheduled at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Missoula Food Bank or the Missoula Ski Education Foundation.
Michael would also encourage everyone to get a colonoscopy.
To send condolences, visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.