John Fritz

PEORIA - John L. Fritz, 87, of Peoria passed away Wednesday evening, Nov. 21, 2012, at the John C. Proctor Endowment Home in Peoria.

He was born on Sept. 23, 1925, in Peoria, Ill., to Leonard and Louise Bliss Fritz. He married the former Gladys Wallat in September 1949.

He is survived by his wife and five children, Diane Corley (Hal) of Summit, N.J., Philip Carlson (Cayte) of Buffalo, N.Y., and Gainesville, Fla., Larry Fritz (Jennice) of Elmhurst, Ill., Susan Obery (Martin) of Edelstein, Ill., and Tom Fritz of Peoria. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Jonathan Carlson, Amy Fritz Janken (Chad), Lindsey Fritz, Ellen Fritz Karalis (Nick) and Peter Corley; and by his great-grandchildren, Blake and Grant Janken; and his sister, Julie (Tom) Sullivan of Bloomington, Ill. Also surviving are a niece, Molly (Erika Shira); and grand-niece, Makiah.

He graduated from Peoria Central in 1943 and enlisted in the Naval Officer Training Program at Northwestern University, subsequently serving two years in Guam.

He worked as an advertising copywriter beginning in 1946, an account executive and finally served as president of Hult, Fritz and Matuszak in Peoria until his retirement in 1985. That year, he received the Salvation Army's prestigious William Booth Award, the highest given to an individual.

Following retirement he lived for a year in London, England, before resettling in the New York City area.

John's passion was the theatre, and as an award-winning playwright he saw his work widely performed, first with Peoria Players directed by his mother, the late Louise Fritz, and eventually around the country in an array of professional productions from Pennsylvania's Bucks County Playhouse to off-Broadway in New York City.

Cremation rites have been accorded, with a memorial service to be scheduled at a later date.

Memorials in his name may be given to a .

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Published in Peoria Journal Star on Nov. 25, 2012