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Remembering Larry Fritsch

Larry Fritsch
(October 15, 1936 - December 8, 2007)

Larry Fritsch, age 71, prominent Stevens Point businessman, died on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007 at the Aspirus Wausau Hospital with his loving family at his side following a brief illness. Larry was born October 15, 1936 in Spencer, Wisconsin. He was the son of the late Larry & Cecelia (Nee. Kotecki) Fritsch. He graduated from Spencer High School in 1954. He then attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, graduating in 1963 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in History & Political Science. Larry was a train baggage man for the Soo Line Railroad from 1955 to 1965. He then worked for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in Madison for a year doing tax research. He also worked for the Whiting Plover Paper Co from 1966 to 1967, and then worked for CAP agency until 1970.

On May 1, 1970 he established Larry Fritsch Cards, a mail order company selling baseball, sports cards and other related products. He was the first person in the world to sell sports cards on a full time basis. As a result of his business, he has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. He also appeared on many radio and television programs, including PM magazine and The Tomorrow Show. Larry was considered an expert on baseball/sports cards, their history and value. In 1987 he ventured out to Cooperstown, New York to open a Baseball Card Museum. Due to distance and travel time the museum closed in 1992.

Larry continued to be involved in his business until the time of his death. In addition to his business, Larry also found time to be involved with the Stevens Point Youth Baseball Association from 1967 until 1983 as a manager, coach, league vice president and board member. He also was a coach and board member with the Stevens Point American Legion Program from 1978 to 1990. Larry also did service work outside of sports. He was the Town of Hull Assessor from 1969 to 1973, served as Town Supervisor from 1973 to 1981 in addition to serving on the Town of Hull planning and zoning committees. He was a charter member of the Portage County Landfill Committee, and served on the Board of Adjustments and Portage County Smart Growth Committee.

Larry was married to Ardy (Molle) Hendrickson on Feb. 8, 1958. The couple later divorced in 1985. Larry enjoyed spending time with his family, baseball cards, collecting and operating model trains, doing jigsaw puzzles and reading. Larry loved trees and was also an avid Packers fan (of which his Uncle Ted Fritsch played for them from 1942 to 1950) and was a Cubs Fan. In lieu of flowers, memorials are being established in his name for Stevens Point Youth Baseball Association, the Youth Area Football and the American Cancer Society.

Survivors:

1 Son:

Jeff (Sue) Fritsch of Stevens Point

1 Daughter:

Jane (Jeff) Gavin of Stevens Point

Dear friend and Love: Janet Wolle of Stevens Point

2 Brothers:

Donald Fritsch of Spencer

Raymond (Elizabeth) Fritsch of Galesville, Wisc.

6 Grandchildren:

Jeremy Fritsch (UW-La Crosse), Jaycie Fritsch (UW-Oshkosh), and Allison Fritsch of Stevens Point, and Jesse, Jadee & Jakob Gavin all of Stevens Point

Several nieces and nephews.

Along with Janet’s Children:

Jim (Nancy) Wolle

Marc (Melinda) Wolle

Susan (Duane) Vandre

And Janet’s 4 Grandchildren: Michael & Kristine Wolle and Tyler & Justin Vandre

Preceded in death by: 1 sister, Priscilla Keene.


LF