Donald Harry Fritts (1927 - 2015)

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  • "I am deeply sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort..."
    - ~Isaiah 26:19
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Donald Harry Fritts, 87, of Sun City, Arizona died on Feb. 13, 2015. Don was born Nov. 12, 1927 in White Salmon, Washington. Upon graduation from Okanogan High School he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on the USS Pensacola and USS Iowa. He was at Bikini Atoll in 1945 during the atomic bomb testing in 1945 and recently became a member of the Nuclear Atomic Veterans Association.

He married his Jean Marie Tubbs on Dec. 27, 1947. They moved to Moscow, Idaho for college graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a minor in Fine Arts. He then achieved his Master of Science in 1955 with a major in Parasitology and minor in Fisheries Biology; both at University of Idaho. During this time he discovered his love of art and illustrated the book, Owyhee. He was employed at Montana State University where he was a parasitologist, medical illustrator and scientific photographer.

He moved to the University of Illinois; Champaign-Urbana to develop and head the Bio-Medical Communications Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine. He retired a full Professor Emeritus in 1987.

His main affiliations were International Biological Photographic Association, Royal Photographic Society, Rotary International and National Ski Patrol. He was a member of the Illinois Arts Council and presented a one-man photographic art show; Zeitgeist. He was an avid outdoorsman, fly fisherman, hunter, horseman, golfer, skier, wildlife photographer and painter.

He is survived by his wife, of 67 years, Jean Fritts and two daughters, Donna Jean (Frank) Pickett and Abigail Kathleen Fritts; his grandchildren, Matt (Meredith) Pickett, Holly Pickett, Josh (Amy) Karl, Nick (Kristi) Karl and Nathaniel Karl. Also great-grandchildren; Gabe & Mia Karl and Olivia & Carter Pickett and his youngest sister, Patty Ray.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10:00 a.m. at All Saints of the Desert Episcopal Church; 9502 W. Hutton Drive, Sun City, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund is being set up. Please contact for more information.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 25, 2015
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