“Your wings were ready, but we were not.”
James (Jim) Henry Fritz, age 72, of Mayer, left this world peacefully Thursday, July 18, 2019, while at home.
Better known as Jim, Jimmy, Dad, and Papa, he was loved by everyone who encountered him.
Jim leaves behind his loving wife of 42 years, Angeline “Angie” Fritz (Legatt). They were married Oct. 30, 1976, at Annunciation Church in Mayhew Lake, MN. James and Angie were blessed with two children, John (Kristen) Fritz and Julie (Scott) Andrzejczak; and five grandchildren, who loved him dearly: Beckham, Annika, Emma, Bode and Evelyn.
Jim is also survived by his siblings, Donald (Karin) Fritz, Marilyn (Marty) Wandersee, Jerry (Sharon) Fritz, Rose (Dave) Russek, Barbara (Dave) Armstrong, Judy (Kenny) Theis, and Linda (Mike) Yantes; and sister-in-law Kathy Fritz.
Jim selflessly served in the Army during the Vietnam War. After his return, he made his forever home on a beautiful 10-acre property outside of Winsted.
He worked hard for his family at Country Club Markets and Christian Salvesen, and was able to retire at age 52.
Even though Jim worked hard, he found time to watch his children grow. He would frequently take family trips, renting cabins for a week at a time, usually bringing the boat with for some fishing time.
The family also made yearly trips to the North Shore of Minnesota, frequenting Duluth, Beaver Bay, and Grand Marais. Jim enjoyed feeding popcorn to the seagulls, and teaching the kids how to skip rocks. He spent a lot of time in the winter on frozen lakes, and loved catching walleye from Lake Mille Lacs.
Since retirement, Jim had been enjoying manicuring his lawn to perfection, fishing with his brothers on local lakes for bluegills and crappies, and going to Little Six Casino. He and Angie enjoyed many bus trips together in recent years to enjoy the beauty of North America. Jim’s favorite place to travel was Hawaii.
His grandchildren will remember him for all his tickles, “the claw,” and his love of ice cream. In recent years, he had shared a lot of time with his kids listening to music, and saw Tom Petty with them in concert several times. He would never admit to it, but Jim could carry a tune without a problem.
Jim was funny. He was really, really funny. He taught his children how to be incredibly sarcastic, which has and will continue to serve them well. The world will be a little less bright without Jim’s quick wit, and random funny comments.
He liked sneezing. He could never explain why, but mentioned it on several occasions. He liked to tear up the dance floor at weddings, and always danced a little harder when John Mellencamp “Hurts So Good” was played.
No one will ever be able to fry a fish like he did, and his popcorn is considered “legendary” by his grandson, Beckham.
Jim will be sorely missed by so many and for so many reasons.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Donna; parents, Jerome and Isabella Fritz; his brother Roger Fritz; and a sister, Karen Fritz.
“Go rest high on that mountain dear Papa, until we meet again.”
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial took place Wednesday, July 24 at noon at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted. Father Tony Stubeda was the celebrant, Ron Karels was the reader, and Alice Nowak was the organist for the Mass.
Inurnment with military rites followed at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Winsted.
There was visitation Wednesday from 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass at the church.
Urn bearers were John Fritz and Julie Andrzejczak.
The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted served the family. Online condolences may be made to www.chilsonfuneralhome.com.