Donald E. Fritz, formerly of Dowagiac

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Donald E. Fritz — a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son and best friend — passed away Saturday evening. He was 76.

Serving in the Navy shortly after graduating from Dowagiac Union High School, Don was an anchor for many in his life.

He was willing to drop anything and everything at a moment’s notice, to help keep them from going adrift.

When his duties concluded, he married the love of his life, Jane A. Fox, on Oct. 10, 1964. Don never faltered in his love for her.  For 27-plus years, Don worked as a pipe-fitter plumber at General Motors in Kalamazoo. The family grew — and strengthened — during this time, with the birth of two daughters, Lisa and Donna.

Don, joined by good friend Lee Halladay, avidly hunted and fished. His three grandsons, Andrew, Ryan and Nickolas, loved hearing stories about how the ducks and sets of deer antlers ended up on the basement wall.

Don also loved spending time deer hunting with his father, brothers, brothers-in-law, cousins and nephews Up North at the “cabin.”  He adored time with his grandsons, whether it was a moment spent watching the “red tails” at the airport, attending sporting events or taking them blueberry picking with grandma.

Don is preceded by his parents, Charles and Audrey Fritz; sisters Sharon Clarke and Joan Keen; brothers-in-law Jim Keen, Richard Fox and Doug Fox; sister-in-law Shirley Fox; and brother, Charles (Bucky).

He is survived by his wife, Jane; two daughters, Lisa J. (Clarence “Butch”) Krietz II of Portage and Donna Fritz of Muskegon; three grandsons, Andrew of Grand Rapids, Ryan of Kalamazoo and Nick of Portage; brother Bruce (Pam) Fritz; sister Diane (Ron) First; brothers-in-law Doyle Fox and Fred Clarke; sisters-in-law Mary Lou Fox and Bonnie Fritz; several nieces, nephews, cousins and aunts; and granddogs.  At Don’s request, services will not be held. The family asks any donations be made to Hospice of Southwest Michigan, 222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.