Willard E. Fritz

GLADSTONE – Willard E. Fritz, 88, of 1155 29th St., Gladstone, passed away Saturday morning, June 28, 2014, at home following a lengthy illness.

Willard was born Feb. 1, 1926, in Winona, Minn., the son of William and Esther (Burfund) Fritz. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was united in marriage to the former Mary Boyer on Jan. 23, 1965.

Willard worked for International Harvester in Fort Wayne, Ind., for 30 years as a Journeyman pipe fitter. Upon his retirement they moved to Rapid River and later to Gladstone.

Willard’s hobbies included hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and watching NASCAR. He was also an avid Green Bay Packers fan.

In addition to his wife, Mary, survivors include: son, Matthew Fritz of Escanaba, Mich.; daughter, Karen Spangler of Woodburn, Ind.; brothers, George (Betty) Fritz of Winona, Minn., and William (Betty) Fritz of New Holstein, Wis.; grandchildren, Aaron Spangler, Victoria Spangler, Alexis Spangler and Nathan Anderson.

In addition to his parents, his brother, Harold Fritz, preceded Willard in death.

Willard’s family will receive friends on Tuesday, July 1, from 4 to 5:45 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Military rites conducted by the Rapid River American Legion Post 301 will follow at 5:45 p.m. Funeral services celebrating the life of Willard E. Fritz will follow at 6 p.m. with Rev. Stephen Gauger of the Calvary Lutheran Church officiating. Burial will be in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Winona, Minn.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family, envelopes will be available at the Skradski Family Funeral Homes. Please visit www.skradskifuneralhomes.com where you can express your sympathy to the Fritz family.