Sunday’s Obituary: Obituary for Gertrude Fritz

Gertrude Fritz was the youngest born of my third great grandfather Benedict Fritz’s eight children. That makes her my second great grandaunt.

The following notice was printed in the Ottumwa Courier on January 15th, 1942. I’ve bolded names of relatives.

She attended St. Mary’s church of Ottumwa. She was married May 6, 1891 at Blakesburg. Besides her husband surviving; there are one son John B. of of Blakesburg; one daughter Mrs. Edna Maloney of Ottumwa; a grandaughter Patricia Alice Shea, and a brother Frank Fritz of Blakesburg.

She was preceded in death by one daughter Alice January 13, 1939, and three brothers and two sisters.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s church with Rev J.M. Walsh officiating. Burial will be at the Blakesburg cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jacob and George Huber, Ernest Johnson, Norine Cloyd, Max Berry and Tom Torrence.

I haven’t yet located the actual article this transcript is from.

This obituary gives a decent amounnt of information about Gertrude’s family. Although her husband is not mentioned by name here (he was William Shea), it’s provided that they had three children. Alice passed away before her mother. Edna was still alive, and married a man named Maloney. John was still alive, and had a daughter named Patricia Alice Shea. It’s clear that Patricia was John’s daughter because of her surname matching his.

What’s interesting is that while Gertrude had seven siblings, the obituary only mentions six of them. She was “preceded in death by … two sisters.” The person who wrote the obituary must not have known of Matilda’s older sister, Matilda. The older Matilda was three years old when she died in 1964, five months before the younger Matilda was born. The oldest sibling (Louisa Fritz) would have been almost six years old at the time, and Frank Fritz hadn’t been born yet. It’s no wonder the memory of the older Matilda didn’t make it to this obituary.

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