Last updated: 10:34 AM ET, Thu August 27 2015

Susie Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of Frontiers International, Dies

People | Claudette Covey | August 26, 2015

Susie Fitzgerald, Co-Founder of Frontiers International, Dies

PHOTO: Susie Fitzgerald with her husband Michael. The couple founded Frontiers International in 1969. (Courtesy of Frontiers International)

Susie Fitzgerald, co-founder of Frontiers International Travel, one of the industry’s very first luxury adventure tour operators, died Aug. 20 of complications in the aftermath of heart surgery.

Fitzgerald, a schoolteacher, and her husband Michael, a dentist, co-founded the company in 1969, at a time when there was a dearth of luxury operators specializing in sports, adventure and photography tours.

“My parents felt there needed to be a company that really catered to people who wanted to do complex international travel,” said her son, Michael Fitzgerald, Jr. “They were one of the early pioneers in adventure travel.”

Fitzgerald, 76, was known for charting new territory in such places as Christmas Island, Patagonia, Iceland, Ecuador, Iran and Mexico’s Yucatan.

Since the company’s inception 46 years ago, the Fitzgeralds grew Frontiers International Travel into a $40 million company, which employs well over 50 people in the U.S. and the U.K.

In addition to her son, Michael, Fitzgerald is survived by a daughter, Mollie. The two currently operate the Virtuoso-affiliated company.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh or The Drew Mathieson Center for Horticultural and Agricultural Technology.

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