Joseph Clemens Fritza was born May 28, 1927, at home in Parkston, SD, to Clemens and Mary (Grossman) Fritza. He grew up at Parkston and attended Sacred Heart School. He entered the US Army in 1946 and served as an Army Paratrooper. On June 3, 1953, he married Marcelline Weber at Dimock. She preceded him in death in 1979. He farmed in the Parkston area until 1955, then farmed in the Mount Vernon area, where he did dairy farming, custom stack moving, hay grinding and combining until his retirement in 2002. On February 27, 1987, he married Viola Sunderland Putman in Mitchell. He was a member of St. Michaels’ Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion.
He is survived by his wife Viola, (Vi) Fritza; five children: Jean (Stan) Starr of Mitchell, Nancy (Ron) Kogel of Mitchell, Vickie (Lincoln Feistner) Fox of Letcher; Laurie (Greg) Kenworthy of Mitchell, John (Marilee Wisner) Fritza of Mitchell; two step-sons, Jim (Jill) Putman of Egan, MN, Scott (Tanja) Putman of Rosemont, MN; fifteen grandchildren, eight great grandchildren; two brothers, Leo (Tillie) Fritza of Parkston, Norbert (Joan) Fritza of Parkston; one sister, Marie Roemen of Dell Rapids; five brothers-in-law: Howard Sunderland of Anaheim, CA, Russell (Joyce) Sunderland of Sisseton, Lyle (Maureen) Sunderland of Mitchell, Jerome (Sharon) Weber of Dimock, Danny (Bev) Weber of Dimock; two sisters-in-law: Arliss Schaefers of Parkston, Janice Heisinger of Delmont and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marcelline (Nov. 25, 1979), and his parents.
Memorials may be given in lieu of flowers to the Mt. Vernon American Legion and/or to Saint Michael’s Catholic Church.