Ward Fritz


BRYAN -- Ward G. Fritz, 81, Bryan, passed away on April 9, 2014, at CHP Defiance Area In-Patient Hospice Center, Defiance, Ohio.

He was born in Farmer, Ohio, on May 18, 1932, to Russell and Daisy (Skees) Fritz. He graduated from Farmer High School. He attended Defiance College where he received his BS in social studies education and later received his master's degree from Bowling Green State University.

He married Shirley Hilbert on July 3, 1953, at Farmer Methodist Church. Both he and Shirley became educators in the Farmer community. Ward taught at Hicksville, Kunkle, Ney and Fairview during his 30-year career. He coached basketball, baseball, track, cross country, golf and wrestling and also served as athletic director at Fairview High School. He held several leadership roles, representing the local teachers' association and serving as mayor of Ney, Ohio. Ward loved to travel, camping in all states but Hawaii, and enjoying many fun days hiking the trails.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years as well as his three daughters, Loreli Fritz Cohn (Steven Cohn) of Highland Park, Ill., Toinette (Jack) Wills of Gahanna, Ohio, and Teresa (John) Marsh of Pickerington, Ohio. He has six grandchildren, Hilary, Ben, Elaine, Joseph, Nathan and Julia; and five great-grandchildren, as well as one brother, Leighton (Lois) Fritz of Hamilton, Ind.

He was preceded in death by his parents as well as by three brothers, John Fritz, Duane Fritz and Keith Fritz.

Funeral visitation will be held on Friday, April 11, from 4-8 p.m. at the Smith & Brown Funeral Home, Hicksville. The funeral will take place the following day, Saturday, April 12, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home, with burial following at Lost Creek Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Fairview Scholarship Fund. Online condolences may be shared at www.smithbrownfuneralhome.com.

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