Gerald D. Fritz
Gerald D. Fritz, 96, of Springfield, died at 2:15 pm, Saturday, June 4, 2016 at St. Clara’s Manor in Lincoln. He was born in Berwick, PA, the son of Richard and Grace (Dugan) Fritz. He married Betty E. Walter of Champaign, IL in October 1942. She died February 17, 1996. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Richard Fritz of Pennsylvania and by a close friend and traveling companion in later years, R. Pauline Camper of Arkansas.
Fritz graduated from Berwick High School in 1937 and from Pennsylvania State Teachers College, Bloomsburg, PA in May 1941. While at Bloomsburg, in 1940 he volunteered for a U.S. Government sponsored civilian pilot training course. He became a licensed pilot with a commitment of military service. After graduation he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in June 1941. He was assigned to the Technical Training Command and served throughout WWII.
He joined Illinois Bell Telephone Company in 1946 and served in a variety of plant, engineering and personnel management assignments in Champaign, Danville, Springfield, Rock Island, Joliet, Chicago and New York, NY. He retired from Illinois Bell in 1982.
Fritz was a member of Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, a life member of Western Star Masonic Lodge 240 in Champaign, a life member and Past Worthy Patron of Eastern Star Chapter 128 in Champaign. He also belonged to the Valley of Springfield Scottish Rite and Ansar Shrine in which he was active in the drum and bugle corps and later in the Ansar Brass Band. In the past he served as a bugle instructor for youth drum and bugle corps. He was a member of the Abe Lincoln Gun Club, NRA and member of the American Legion Post 32, Springfield.
He is survived by three children, G. Bruce (Mary Ann) Fritz of Glen Carbon, IL, Jan E. (David) Fehrenbacher of Lincoln, IL and Steven K. (Christina) Fritz of Sindelfingen, Germany; three grandchildren and two great grandchildren; one sister, Jane Belanger of Oregon and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation: 10:30-11:30 am, Monday, June 13, 2016 at Staab Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 11:30 am, Monday, June 13, 2016 at Staab Funeral Home with Reverend Paul Schwartzkopf officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery where military honors will be conducted.
Memorial contributions may be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Peace Lutheran Church of Springfield, IL or St. Clara’s Manor in Lincoln.