Cover photo for Charles H. Fritz's Obituary
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1942 Charles 2024

Charles H. Fritz

October 29, 1942 — April 4, 2024

Olathe, KS

Charles H. Fritz passed away April 4, 2024, at Menorah Medical Center. Charles was born Oct. 29, 1942, to Martin and Renata Fritz of Monett, Missouri. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother James, and first wife Marlene. Charles is survived by his second wife Anne Fritz, brother John, daughter Dana (Larry Gawel) of Lincoln, Nebraska, son Steven (Tracey) of Olathe, Kansas, their children Jacob and Ellie, and countless friends who knew him as Charlie. 

Charlie, the youngest of three boys, began life in humble circumstances on a small family farm near Freistatt, Missouri without indoor plumbing or electricity. His strong work ethic and sense of frugality developed there served him well through his education at Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt, Monett High School, and University of Missouri in Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1965. He went on to become a national expert in wastewater treatment systems with Black & Veatch in Overland Park, Kansas, and worked on domestic and international projects for over 40 years. 

In 1965 Charlie married his high school sweetheart, Marlene Halstenberg. They lived in Prairie Village, Kansas where they raised children Dana and Steve. Utterly devoted parents, much of their leisure time was spent with the children and friends who had children of similar ages. They supported Dana and Steve through activities including years of scouts and coaching, were active in their church, and enjoyed playing bridge and bowling with friends in a Friday night league. Charlie became Marlene’s caregiver as her symptoms of ALS emerged in the 1990’s and was by her side until she died from complications of the disease in 2010.

In 2013 Charlie married Anne Francis, a friend from church, who had also lost her spouse. Together they bought a house in Olathe and traveled to Asia and Europe learning about the history and culture of each place they stayed. They continued to be active in church and volunteered for various historical sites in Johnson County. They were regular walkers on the nearby Mill Creek Trail and at the Ernie Miller Nature Center until Anne’s Parkinson’s Disease kept them closer to home. Charlie became a full-time home caregiver again until it was no longer possible.

Throughout his life, Charlie was an avid bird watcher and kept both migrating and year-round songbirds supplied with food and water in his backyard. On good days he might count over a dozen species at the feeders. He was also a prolific gardener known for his giant tomatoes growing among the flowers and herbs in the yard. He generously shared this garden abundance with family, friends, and neighbors. Charlie was also a puzzle enthusiast and Sudoku and large jigsaw puzzles were among his favorites. Since he was a student at Mizzou, his passion for regional college and local professional sports grew and grew. He kept up with the games and players for the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs, Missouri Tigers football and basketball, and eventually for their rival, the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

After years of managing prostate cancer with treatment, Charlie was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in late 2022. Just as before this terminal diagnosis, he lived each day to the fullest and on his own terms, even as he was in and out of the hospital and undergoing chemotherapy. He passed peacefully, without pain, and in overwhelming gratitude for his life on April 4th, 2024.

A visitation will be held at 10:30, and service at 11:00 followed by a reception with light refreshments at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 9100 Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kansas on Saturday, April 13th.  

In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of Charlie’s generosity, the family suggests that memorials be given to the Audubon Society, the American Cancer Society, the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection’s Memorial Fund, or another charitable organization.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles H. Fritz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 13, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Lutheran Church of the Ressurection

9100 Mission Road, Prairie Village KS,

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Lutheran Church of the Ressurection

9100 Mission Road, Prairie Village KS,

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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