Joseph “Joe” William Theodore Fritze, Jr. On November 15, 2019, Joe passed away at his home in Emporia, as a result of complications from multiple illnesses. Joe was 68 years old.
The son of Joseph Fritze, Sr. and Helen Buckingham Fritze, Joe was born on May 7, 1951, in Strong City and was the youngest of three siblings. He spent his early years in Strong City, graduating from Cottonwood Falls High School in 1969, before studying special education and social work at Emporia State University and the University of Kansas.
In 1982 he began working at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Kansas City, where he later met Vickie Eich-Fritze. The two were married in 1987 and had two children, Lindley and Kyle.
Joe had an affinity for animals, gardening, politics and travel, often discussing these topics with his friends and family. After the loss of Kyle in 2016, Joe moved to Emporia to enjoy his retirement alongside his faithful dog, Elvis. Here, he spent much of his time catching up on the latest news, and tending to his small vegetable garden, which he was very proud of. During the last few years of his life, and despite complications with his illnesses, he motivated himself to travel with friends to Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, and, finally, to visit his daughter at her new home in Vienna, Austria.
Joe is preceded in death by his son, Kyle Fritze; mother, Helen Bennett; father, Joseph Fritze Sr.; step-father, Audrey Bennet, and sister, Andrea Passmore.
He is survived by his daughter, Lindley Mayrhofer; son-in-law, Richard Mayrhofer of Vienna, Austria; sister Julia Fritze of Kiowa; and niece, Melanie Passmore of Greenwood, MO.
Joe will be cremated according to his wishes, with a graveside service following in the summer of 2020. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to American Diabetes Association, in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, PO Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845.
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