Willys Fritz

Willys Fritz



Willys “Willie” Fritz, 83, of West Union, Iowa died Monday, July 17, 2017 in West Union, Iowa from injuries sustained in a car accident. 

He was born on Father’s Day on a farm near Alpha, Iowa to Alfred and Elsie (Borcherding) Fritz on June 17, 1934. He was the oldest of two children. 

He was baptized at St. Peter (Richfield) on July 8, 1934 in Sumner, Iowa and confirmed on March 21, 1948 at St John Lutheran Church in Sumner. 

Willie learned the value of hard work at the young age of 13, when he lost his father. His first job was at the Sumner Bakery. He also worked for Sumner Tire where he fixed a tire for 75 cents and cleaned a car inside and out for $1.50. 

He graduated from Sumner High School in 1952. 

He met the love of his life on a blind date in 1954 while attending the Dairy Days celebration in Fredericksburg, Iowa. While on a carnival ride, he lost his change, causing him to ask his grandpa for more money. 

He married his soul mate, Leanne Schultz on March 3, 1957 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sumner, Iowa. They were blessed with three children, Susan (Kevin) Lueder, Katheryn (Richard) Anderson, and Daniel (Tina) Fritz. 

Willie was a successful self-taught businessman and in 1972, Willie and Leanne moved their family from Sumner to West Union where he owned and operated West Union Tire. In 1985, he sold the business to Don Fauser and worked as a salesman for Fauser Oil until he retired in 2012.

Their children blessed them with five grandchildren. Willie and Leanne shared wonderful memories attending the many various activities their grandchildren were involved in. Whether it was watching them show their 4-H projects and cattle at the county fair, attending school band concerts or enjoying their baseball and sporting events.  

He was a proud supporter of the local high school events. Rain or shine you could find him and daughter Sue at the High School Football games where they haven’t missed a single game in 12 years.  

He was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan. Willie especially loved to follow the football team, attending his first game in 1947. For several years he was a season ticket holder and loved to take his children and grandchildren to the games. He enjoyed cheering on the Minnesota Twins and Vikings as well.   

Willie and Leanne enjoyed traveling together. Over the years he attended two World Series games and the Westminster Dog Show in NYC. He also enjoyed trips to Switzerland, Germany, and Alaska.

As a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church he was an active member who has held every lay position possible. For many years he was counted on to open the church every Sunday morning and make sure the coffee was started. He truly lived his faith every single day.  Willie was a longtime member of the Lions Club and enjoyed being actively involved with all the club activities.

Along with his wife they collected antiques, graniteware, toy tractors, and a collection of 20 old clocks which he wound every Saturday night. He also enjoyed gardening, fishing, playing cards and spending time with his family. 

Willie was known for his love of animals and especially dogs. He could often been seen around town with their two French Bull Dogs, Abbie and Sammy, which were fondly referred to as bowling balls with legs by family members.

He will always be remembered as a loving man with a heart of gold whose biggest pride and joy was his wife, children, and grandchildren. 

He is preceded in death by his parents; stepfather; brother, Darwin, and daughter Katheryn as well as many four legged companions. 

He is survived by the love of his life, Leanne; daughter Sue (Kevin) Lueder of West Union, Iowa, son Daniel (Tina) Fritz of Johnston, Iowa; grandchildren Christopher, Kayla (Ben Guthrie), Gabrielle, Jack and Logan and four-legged children, Abbie and Sammy, as well as many relatives and many special friends.    

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established.

Memorial Service was held at 10:30 am on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at Zion Lutheran Church, West Union, Iowa with Rev. Adam Starrett as the Officiant.

Burial will be at a later date at West Union Cemetery, West Union, Iowa.

Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, West Union, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements. 30u30 


Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here