With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of an incredible husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Richard “Rick” Lawrence Fritz. Rick passed away peacefully in his sleep in the comfort of his home on Wednesday morning, November 16, 2022, next to his wife, Lenny.
Rick was born in Great Falls, MT, on July 7, 1956, and is survived by his wife, Lynette “Lenny” Robbins; son, Ryan Fritz; daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Ryan) Fritz; granddaughter, Kate Fritz; grandson, Lawrence “Wren” Fritz; brothers, Bob Fritz and Alan Fritz; sister, Lynn Bailey; ex-wife, Janet (Hayes) Delisle; and several nieces and nephews.
Rick loved the outdoors, particularly the mountains. His younger days found him adventuring as far as his trusty Land Cruiser could take him with whomever else was along for the ride. Never wanting to miss the chance to land the big one, Rick would often be heard saying, “just one more cast,” or “let’s just see what the water looks like around that next bend.” Many times, what followed was spending most of the day untangling the line his son snagged rather than fishing himself. But he did not mind one bit. That is the type of person he was, selfless, loyal, and genuine. Those who were fortunate enough to call him a friend could trust they had his unwavering support forever. And they to him, as there is not a better cast of characters to call friends than his, from those he met in grade school at Sunnyside Elementary, to the racquetballers, golfers, and other greats he met along the way. He knew the love he had for them was mutual.
Rick’s family will forever be grateful for the extraordinary acts of support from those many friends, particularly over the past couple of months. We so appreciate the comfort you provided during this difficult time. While Rick lived a life to be proud of, he was most proud of raising his son, Ryan. Despite working long hours on the railroad for BNSF, he always enjoyed spending as much time with his son as he could. Years of racquetball led to fishing, camping, basketball, baseball, and golf, which ultimately became the sport they bonded over.
Ryan and his wife Jennifer, who Rick loved and admired as if she was his own daughter, blessed their families with two amazing grandchildren, Kate Marion Fritz (8) and Lawrence “Wren” Smith Fritz (6). Lawrence was named after Rick, which was something by which he was deeply honored. While his outdoor experiences shifted greatly due to his progressing health challenges as a lung transplant recipient in 2017, he still found ways to enjoy the outdoors and his family. Gone were the rustic days of sleeping on the ground in the Tenderfoot and Smith River Valleys or fighting for tee times to play with his beloved “muni” crew. Those experiences ultimately shaped his love for spending time at Rock Creek Cattle Company with his wife, Lenny, which allowed him to create years of lasting memories golfing, fishing, and sharing special moments with important people in his life. Lenny and Rick married in 2005. Lenny’s unconditional love and support of Rick unquestionably extended the time he had with us.
Always on the go, she encouraged him to see as much as he could, and he cherished their times at Lost Lake, Shonkin, MLCC, or just on the back deck looking at the stars when he did not have the energy to go anywhere. We will all miss his endearing wit and ability to make us laugh, his uncanny knack for finding appreciation and beauty in things most of us pass by without second thought, and the way he could slow down time on our mountain drives. To the most patient, thoughtful, honest, and considerate man we know, we will miss you dearly.
A Celebration of Life is planned for January 21, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Meadow Lark Country Club. Please consider becoming an organ donor if you are not already registered. This gift of life enabled Rick to live another 5 years due to the generous organ donor. Having those five years to enjoy his family, friends, and especially his two grandchildren was such an amazing gift. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the O'Connor Funeral Home website.
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