Road Ends for Rockford Original
Rudolph (Rudy) W. Fritz, 91, peacefully passed away May 6, 2020 at his home in Rockford, Illinois. Rudy spent his formative years on his grandparent’s farm in Oregon, Illinois where he developed a strong work ethic and a love of nature. By the time he was 21 he had served two stints in the Army during the Korean War and started a family. He was proud of his flawless driving record in his career as a truck driver (Gregory Anderson, Rockford Blacktop) and the fact that his employer retained him beyond retirement because he was so skilled and adept at moving big rigs. His technical aptitude ranged from plumbing to automotive and even included wall papering. Rudy possessed fortitude and resilience surviving both a flood that took his home and belongings, and a decades-long battle with prostate cancer. Doctors and staff at the Madison V.A. knew him well and treated him for many years. An outgoing personality and fun sense of humor brought many friends and fans into his life. He was a member of the SM&SF Club, Lombardi Club, VFW and St. Mary’s, making regular rounds to each locale. Visiting the SM&SF Park was one of his favorite activities regardless of season. This beautiful place was also the setting where his milestone birthdays were celebrated with loved ones. His love of Westerns was unsurpassed, never tiring of Gunsmoke episodes he’d seen countless times. He loved seeing justice prevail where the good guy always won. He even named his son John Wayne.
Until recently, we didn’t think of Rudy as old. He had a spark and a ready smile. He remained handsome until the end. After a fall last November, Rudy entered hospice care in his home. Long known as “Rev” a nickname he loved; he was not a minister. In fact, he was a believer in Christ, knowing his next home was heaven.
Predeceased by parents, Harold J. and Bethel B. (Martin) Fritz; son, John Fritz. Survived by brother, Dennis (Carolyn) Fritz; daughters, Debra (Don) Luke, Vicki (Denny) Anderson, Karen (Ted) Andrus; grandchildren, Andrea Lund, Eric (Jennifer) Fishe, Michael (Lori) Fishe, Amanda (Chris Hart) Andrus, David Andrus; eight great-grandchildren; special nephews and nieces; and many 10-4 good buddies.
The family gratefully acknowledges the dedicated staff of Northern Illinois Hospice and Peterson Meadows. Memorials can be made to either, in Rudy’s name. Our deep gratitude and appreciation goes to two compassionate women who cared for Rudy 24/7 the past five months, Carol and Mo from Home Instead.
It’s an odd time to lose someone because there will be no memorial service for the foreseeable future. At some point we will have a celebration of Rudy’s life and at that time we will have even more to celebrate.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rudolph "Rudy" W. Fritz, please visit our floral store.