Donald Fritz

Don Fritz passed away on Oct. 21, 2017 at the age of 94.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct. 24, at United Church of Christ in Fonda. Burial was in Cedar Cemetery in Fonda. Mahaney Funeral Home in Fonda was in charge of the arrangements. 

He was born in Early on Jan. 28, 1923. Despite a lifelong affliction with polio, he lived a long and gratifying life. He was kind and charitable. He was intelligent, well-read and conversant despite a minimal education due to events beyond his control.

He contracted polio at the age of nine months. He spent many months in treatment at the University of Iowa as a child. Sometimes family was present to support him and sometimes they could not be. He had a significant medical condition his whole life because of his polio, but did not treat it as a disability. He attended school in Fonda to the eighth grade when he had surgery and a lengthy convalescent period at University of Iowa Hospital, forcing him to forego further education. However, he did not let this condition limit or define him. He chose to become a skilled welder under the tutelage of his father, Henry Fritz.

There was literally nothing that Don or Henry could not fix with a welding torch. Many a catastrophic harvest for a local farmer was repaired when Don or Henry performed an emergency repair of a tractor, combine or wagon with their tools of trade. Sometimes he charged for his services and sometimes not. It made little difference to him. He helped in many local activities that others did not know about. He served on the fire department for 15 years despite his impairment. He procured wood for the pit barbeque for the Labor Day celebration.

He fished in Minnesota, Iowa and Canada with his friend, Roy Stauter and others for a good part of his adult life. He did not let his condition stop him from doing the things he enjoyed with others.

He was said to be able to do more with less whether working with his own body or scrap metal. He lived humbly in his small house in Fonda almost his whole life from the time of the depression to the end of his life. He helped a brother financially through school though his own means were modest. He was truly a great man and he will be missed and loved always by family and friends.

He is survived by his sisters, Alice Williams and Marci Boland; brothers, Norman (Sylvia) Fritz and Wes (Marg) Fritz; nieces and nephews: Renard (Karen) Fritz, Roark Fritz, Denny (Jean) Bramble, Timothy (Pam) Bramble, Tari (Steve) Waterman, Greg (Jane) Fritz, Brent Fritz, Maralyn (Ron) McLaughlin, Diane (Steve) Hamilton, Debi (Don) Spaulding, Dennis (Monica) Williams, David (Jenny) Williams, Kris Blunt; many great nieces and nephews; extended family and friends.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lester (Edythe) Fritz; brothers-in-law, Arthur Williams and Jim Boland; and nephews: Rhett Fritz, Dusty Holmgaard, and Eddie Bramble.