FRITZ, Jr., OLIVER (SKIP) HARVEY Oliver (Skip) Harvey Fritz, Jr., of El Cajon, CA, passed away suddenly on August 17, 2008, from complications of Parkinson's disease. Skip was husband of Dorothie; father of Ollie, Michelle, and Mike; brother of Marcia Fritz Balch; uncle of seven; and friend of too many to count. He was born in La Crosse, WI, 67 years ago and moved to San Diego with his father, Oliver Harvey Fritz, Sr., mother, Margaret, and older sister, Marcia in 1949. Skip purchased his first 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe in 1956, graduated from Hoover High School in 1958, and earned a B.A. in public administration from SDSU in 1968. He was a lifelong active member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Following graduation, Skip married fellow Aztec Dorothie Jondall and they were married for 39 years. He was an insurance claims adjuster in the early 1970s, and then entered real estate - buying homes, fixing them up, and reselling them in many areas of San Diego County. In 1982, he founded a flower delivery service, Monday Flowers, and then opened The Petal Peddler, selling flowers out of antique wagons he built himself. From 1992, until the time of his passing, Skip worked as a keeper for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Skip was an amazing mechanic, lover of cars, and a diehard Ford fan. His pride and joy was a painstakingly restored 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe that he drove daily through July 2008. Over the years, his fleet included a 1934 Ford sedan delivery, a 1938 Buick hearse (used for trips to Mexico in college), a 1941 Ford pickup, a 1942 Ford fire engine, a 1946 Mercury limousine (used in Yellowstone National Park), a 1950 Lincoln, two 1955 Thunderbirds, a 1966 Avanti, a 1966 "big Jeep truck," a 1974 Land Rover, and multiple Stude-bakers. A long-time member of the San Diego chapter of the Early Ford V-8 Club, he often combined club meets/Fritz family vacations to locales that included Bend, OR, Tulsa, OK, Beaver Creek, CO, Dearborn, MI, and Washington, DC. Always a lover of sports, Skip stayed in shape with daily punching bag workouts, and played basketball regularly until the age of 56. He was a skilled shot and tireless free-throw shooter, and always hustled on the courts of the Municipal Gym in Balboa Park and Kennedy Recreation Center in El Cajon. Skip was a huge fan of lacrosse (the sport), and volunteered his time and efforts to improve the club program at Granite Hills High School, for which he was named 1996 High School Parent of the Year by the San Diego County Lacrosse Association. He held SDSU Aztec football season tickets since 1967 and was looking forward to the upcoming season. Skip loved old Lionel trains, history, politics, reading about World War II, and military vehicles. Past adventures included hitchhiking to SAE Leadership School while in college, sailing home on a freighter from Europe, and camping in Baja. A devoted father who put his family first, Skip nurtured his children's talents and interests, and revealed patience beyond belief in caring for his daughter, Michelle. He always supported their academic and athletic endeavors, and never faltered in his love and dedication. Skip leaves behind a legacy of honesty, hard work, civic duty, and helping others. He will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by many. The Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 23rd, at El Cajon Mortuary, 684 S. Mollison Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020, and a celebration will follow at his sister's home in San Diego. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the El Cajon City Parks and Recreation Department (REC Fund), 200 E. Main Street, El Cajon, CA 92020 and/or the Men's Lacrosse program at Sonoma State University (where son Mike attended), 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928.
Published in U-T San Diego on Aug. 21, 2008