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Fredric "Fritz" Attermeier

1946 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Fredric "Fritz" Attermeier Obituary
Fredric "Fritz" Attermeier
Fredric J. "Fritz" Attermeier thought that every obituary should be a history lesson and was especially attentive to the obituaries in the New York Times for that reason. In fact, one of his final conversations 2 days before his unexpected death was about the recent passing of David Stoliar, the sole survivor of the Soviet torpedo sinking of the steamer ship "Strum" in the Black Sea, considered to be the worst civilian maritime disaster of WWII. This is the story of Fritz's all too short life. Fritz was born on March 27, 1946 in Cudahy, Wisconsin to Olga Uldrian and Fredric J Attermeier, Sr., both of whom preceded him in death, as did his brother, John. Fritz died on January 26, 2016, after a short illness.
Fritz's accomplishments were many. He received a B.A. in economics from Rice University; an M.S. in accounting from the University of Houston; a J.D. from South Texas College of Law; and an LL.M. in taxation from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. He was board certified in taxation law and was a certified public accountant. No case was beyond Fritz's area of expertise, from small claims and traffic court to the supreme court. He was the lead attorney for Texaco Inc. in a U.S. Supreme Court windfall profit tax case. He was passionate about music and established an endowed scholarship in his mother's name at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. He was an avid supporter of many young musicians and a special advisor to the Apollo Chamber Players, having recently commissioned a piece for their 20X2020 multi-year commissioning project. He inspired friends to name pets after him and even considered this a great honor. Fritz was not content to learn something every day - he was driven to learn something of use every minute of every day. Fritz was a grammar maven/mentor, tax advisor, legal advisor and friend to all. There are many great Fritz stories, but this description by Dr. Richard Murray of the University of Houston captures Fritz's disposition as an enduring student of life the best:
"I met Fritz Attermeier in the fall of 2015 when he enrolled as an auditing student in my Introduction to American and Texas Government course. Fritz stood out because he was the oldest student among the 255 enrolled in this class which is a requirement to graduate from a public university in Texas. Since he already had degrees in accounting and law, he was taking the class because he wanted to stay current on public issues. Fritz also stood out because he always sat in the center of the front row due to hearing issues, and frequently asked good questions as the semester progressed.
One of the requirements for the class was to write a minimum 3000 word autobiographic essay on one's social and political socialization. Fritz turned in a much longer essay - well written and very informative - about his interesting life of seventy years. The essay reflected a man of great intelligence, broad interests, compassion for the human condition, religious faith, and humility. He wrote of tragedies, successes, endurance, and forgiveness. It was a sort of "life report" - in the form the New York Times columnist David Brooks requested of his readers over 70 a couple of years ago. In summing up the responses he received, Brooks wrote "The most exciting essays were written by the energetic, restless people, who took their lives off in new directions, midcourse." That described Fritz Attermeier to a tee.
At the end of the semester, Fritz had the highest score, by a wide margin, on both the exams and autobiographic paper. Because he was such an outstanding student and excellent class participant, I asked Fritz to enroll in my current class on the 2016 presidential election and was delighted when he did so and introduced himself to the small class on January 19th. I very much looked forward to his involvement over the coming weeks as we discussed unfolding events as the major political parties select their presidential nominees. Sadly, that will not come to pass, and the class will be the lesser for it."
Fritz had little use for physical gifts, but he did value friendship above all else.
He is survived by his long time companion, Lynne Rutzky, and a multitude of friends who are proud to have been considered his extended family. A memorial service for Fredric J. Attermeier will be held at the Rice Chapel at 4:00 PM February 27, 2016. For further information, please see the Memorial Oaks website.
Memorial Oaks
Funeral Home
13001 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77079
Published in Houston Chronicle on Feb. 21, 2016
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