Obituary: Fritz, Glenn H.
FRITZ, Glenn H. 1919 ~ 2013 Glenn H. Fritz passed away August 5 after a long and gallant battle against cancer. He was born in Fennimore, Wisconsin, on November 5, 1919, to Virgil and Mabel Fritz. He graduated from Fennimore High School in 1937, then enrolled at the Wisconsin Institute of Technology at Platteville, WI., and completed a three year program there. He was employed in the oil and gas appraisal industry until the outbreak of World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and after training was assigned to the 24th Combat Mapping Squadron and spent the duration of the war in the China Burma India Theater of operations. On his return to civilian life in February 1946 Glenn followed his mother’s advice and joined the Masons in Fennimore, remaining a member of that Lodge for 30 years and was an active Mason for 67 years. He also addressed his second priority and enrolled at the Missouri University of Science and Technology to complete his education obtaining a Bachelor’s degree as a mining engineer. Shortly after graduation he began working in Butte, MT., for the Anaconda Copper Mining Company. He met his future wife Florence there; they began 52 years of married life in May 1949, which lasted until her death in 2001. Glenn spent 15 years as a Mining Equipment salesman with the Joy Manufacturing Company, working two years in New York City, three years in South East Asia based in Calcutta, India, and ten years in Bogota, Colombia, as Joy’s regional sales chief covering Colombia, Ecuador and Central America. Glenn and Florence moved to Spokane in late 1964, and he started his own business, G. H. Fritz, Inc., selling well and mining accessories. His service area covered the Inland Northwest (Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana). He sold the business in 1995 and finally retired; however, he remained active in a range of endeavors. One was engaging in his passion for fly-fishing. On a fly fishing trip to Montana with a long-time friend from his Anaconda days, he became a cattle owner with an initial purchase of 40 Angfertols heifers and three bulls, eventually growing his herd to 100 before selling it. Glenn was a very active participant in, and supporter of, Masonry and various Masonic Organizations throughout his life. Notably, he became a member of the Rose Croix Funeral Team in 1978 bringing solace to Masonic families and served until 2012. Over that period he participated in over 342 funerals. He was honored several times for his efforts with the Masons, including being invested with the Knight Commander Court of Honor in 1981, was coroneted a 33 degree IGH in 1987, and was recognized for his service on the Masonic Temple Board. Glenn was very loyal to, and supportive of, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the Fennimore School District. In 2009 he made a substantial donation to the UW-Platteville Foundation to finance annual scholarships for Fennimore High School graduates to attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Southwest Wisconsin Tech, saying that he had donated the scholarships because he wanted to help students from his home town of Fennimore have a high quality education. He also funded establishment of the Miners Class of 1940 Room in the school’s new Engineering Hall. In recognition of his support shortly before Glenn’s death SW Tech named him a Visionary Council Member, honoring him as a friend of the College and his vision in providing scholarships for students of the Fennimore community. Glenn made friends wherever he went. He was highly regarded and well liked by colleagues, neighbors, fellow Masons and a host of others he had encountered throughout his life. He will be greatly missed. Glenn is survived by cousins David Gehrke (Cheryl) and Donald Gehrke (Michelle) in Fennimore, Tom Gehrke (Beth) in California, and Mary Ann Zarek of Florida, and nieces Lois Richards of Spokane and Betty Todd (Bill) of Walnut Creek, CA., and nephew Bill Richards (Patsy) of Coeur d’Alene. Memorial services will be held at the Riplinger Funeral Home, 4305 N. Division St., Spokane, WA., at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 16. Inurnment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children or the charity of one’s choice. Guestbook: www.riplingers.com