Monday, October 24, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Fulton Christian Church
14108 East W Ave
Fulton, MI 49052
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Huntington Disease Society of America
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Though she could be reserved around strangers, those close to Elaine Fritz knew another side to her. She will be remembered by family and friends as a fun-loving, warm hearted woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She was blessed to be married to the one and only love of her life for 36 memorable years and to have raised a son of whom she was so proud. Elaine will never be forgotten as she will forever live on in the memories of her family and friends who loved her.
Post-war prosperity was finally getting underway in 1949 and companies were now able to supply the bigger cars and bigger televisions that were in demand. A new type of television program debuted this same year -- the soap opera, aptly named because soap manufacturers sponsors targeted the housewife audience. On July 19, 1949, the Frays family had a debut of their own with the birth of their daughter, Elaine. She joined her brother, David and sister, Joanne in the family’s Centreville home. Elaine’s parents worked as farmers to provide for their family.
Elaine attended Centreville schools where she made many friends. Although she could be a bit shy and quiet around people she didn’t know, after attending school with many of the same friends over the years, she was quite at home. As a matter of fact, she was so at ease that she was voted “class clown” four years in a row! There are some great stories of jokes that she has played involving the Covered Bridge in Centreville.
While attending high school, Elaine was introduced to a handsome young man from Vicksburg, John Fritz, by John’s cousin, Richard Broker. Elaine was quite taken with him, just as John predicted she would be! It was apparent the attraction was mutual though because John rode his scooter from Vicksburg to Centreville, just to be with Elaine. The couple dated for three years and on Christmas Day, John proposed to Elaine in his parents’ living room. The couple was happily married at the Salem Lutheran Church in Centreville on August 27, 1967.
Early in their marriage, John worked in a factory to support his family. He soon realized that he longed to be back on the farm, continuing the family legacy. So, in 1967, John and Elaine purchased a farm where they planted corn, wheat and soybeans and raised pigs. Together, in 1972, they welcomed their only child, John Benjamin (Ben) into their hearts and home. Their small, happy family was now complete.
As a mother, Elaine was a natural. She created a warm, loving home for her little family and always made sure there was a hot meal on the table at the end of a long day -- possibly even a special treat, her delicious peanut butter fudge. Elaine delighted in watching Ben grow up to be the man that he is today. She was especially touched when he proposed to his wife, Shawn in the exact same living room that John had proposed to her in many years before.
In addition to her role as farm wife and mother, Elaine ran her own thriving antique business, Elaine’s Treasures. Every year, from May through September, Elaine could be found at the fairgrounds in Allegan selling her antiques. It was hard work, hauling everything there and back, but it was a labor of love.
Elaine found time for the pleasures in life as well. She enjoyed spending time with friends, whether bowling or playing her favorite card games, Bunco, Canasta, or Skip Bo. She and John also loved to travel and each year they looked forward to their trips to their timeshare in Lake Tahoe and Orange Lake, Florida. Their vacations also included many memorable trips to places like Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America, Mexico, Canada and Hawaii. They also visited all 48 of the contiguous United States!
It was on one of these vacations in Minnesota that Elaine unfortunately broke her arm. She patiently waited while John went to get the car to take her to the hospital. (Patiently being the key word here.) When John finally arrived, she discovered that he was so nervous that he began his trip to the hospital without Elaine. Thankfully, he remembered before he got too far, and came back to pick her up.
Life forever changed for Elaine when, after 36 years of marriage, her beloved John passed away in 2003. She missed him terribly but her five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, as well as her dog, Rosie, helped to fill some of that void. Her pets were important to her, she once had a dog named Holly that was so special in fact that one night while cooking "pigs in a blanket", John asked for some more and Elaine said there were no more. Then John proceeded to the kitchen and saw a bunch on the stove and she told him those were for Holly.
Kind, loving and faithful, Elaine was fortunate to live a life with a family she loved and doing things that brought her great joy. Sadly, Elaine died on October 20, 2016. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
She is survived by her son Ben (Shawn) Fritz, of Fulton; five grandchildren: Betsy (Dustin) Barrett, of Scotts; Becky Barton, of Vicksburg; Jessica Barton, of Leonidas; Samantha Fritz, of Fulton and Jon-Paul Fritz, of Fulton; two great grandchildren: Jayse and Logan Barrett; one sister: Joanne Groth, of Centreville. She is also survived by brother and sister-in-laws: James W. Fritz, of Centreville; Joseph Fritz, of Mendon; and Judy Fritz of CA; many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband John in 2003; her parents: Karl and Frances Fray; and brother, David Frays.
Please visit Elaine’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to Huntington Disease Society of America.