Frederick David “Fritz” Fockler

December 09, 1927 ‒ September 01, 2019

Centerburg, Ohio

Frederick David “Fritz” Fockler, age 91, of Centerburg passed away at his home on Sunday, September 1, 2019.

He was born on December 9, 1927 in Canton, Ohio to the late Paul and Catherine (Mason) Fockler.  Fritz was a veteran serving in the United States Navy from 1945-1948.  He was employed at Nationwide Insurance Company as a District Claims Manager from which he retired with nearly 40 years of service.  In addition, Fritz was passionate about their Laurelwood Farm where he and his wife Betty sold choose and cut Christmas Trees for many years, raised llamas, and bred Brittanys.

Fritz is survived by his wife, of over 40 years, Betty (Vega) Fockler; his daughters, Chely Broerman, Melinda Thrasher; seven grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; his brother Fritz (Beverly) Heinemann; and his sister Susan Yerger.

Friends may visit the family on Thursday, September 12 from 4-5PM at the Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home.  A memorial service will follow beginning at 5PM with Pastor Tim Greaves officiating.  Military honors will be provided by the Knox County Joint Veteran’s Council.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: American Brittany Rescue, Inc., c/o Diana Dorion, 731 Ridge Haven Dr., La Habra, CA 90631.  (or)  American Red Cross, 300 N. Mulberry St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050.

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The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Frederick David “Fritz” Fockler.


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  • Dear Betty and Family : I was so sorry to hear of Fritz’s passing . He was a wonderful and wise man. I remember looking up to him and Betty when we worked at Nationwide Insurance. I always thought Fritz embodied the Nationwide claims mantra of “being FIRM but FAIR”. May you be comforted in knowing that You will someday be reunited with Fritz in Heaven.

    • Thank you, Gary. I appreciate your kind comments. Yes, I am comforted knowing we will be together again. It will be a joyful embrace! So good of you to remember us!

  • Dear Betty and family, sorry about the passing of Fritz. My late husband Dave Lester worked with him at Nationwide, prayers sent. Robin Lester

    • Robin, my condolences to you too. I didn’t know Dave had passed. I remember him well. Thank you for sending me your thoughts. Fritz was a very special man. My best to you!

  • Dear Betty,

    I was so sorry to hear of Fritz’s illness and then his passing. He was an amazing human and a wonderful boss. The world could have used more like him. I will never forget how his eyes would light up when he spoke of you, there was no doubt that man loved you totally. He is at rest now. I know you were there for him and shared the hardest of Tims with him through his illness – now it’s time for you to also share his peace. Take care of yourself, God bless.

    Cathy Heckman/Guyan

    • Cathy it is so good to hear from you again! I recall meeting you for the first time shortly after Fritz hired you in Youngstown. Long time ago… I appreciate you remembering him and your kind wishes. My best to you too. Betty

  • Sending love and prayers to you and your family. I know our will feel God’s love and warmth during this time.
    Cheryl Feasel

    • Cheryl, you have been so kind during Fritz’s extended illness. Lovely flowers from your garden to cheer me, beautiful cards to remind me I am not alone. And the lovely devotional by fSarah Young! I believe you mentioned you have one too. Look at the daily for the day Fritz passed, Sept. 1. In part it reads: “When you encounter rough patches along your life- journey, Trust that My Light is still shining upon you. My reasons for allowing these adversities may be shrouded in mystery, but My continual presence with you is an absolute promise. Seek me in good times, seek me in hard times. You will find me watching over you all the time. Deuteronomy 4:29; Hebrews 10:23; Psalm 145:20.
      Thank you Cheryl. See you soon at yoga! Betty

    • Phyllis and all my Red Hat friends ( even though we don’t wear red hats) have been such sweet friends during Fritz’s illness. Thank you for your cards, flowers and loving support. Betty

  • Dear Betty, I’m so Sorry and Sad for the loss of your precious FRITZ. You two shared a wonderful life together, and your memories will be something wonderful to hold on to forever. Love you and praying for your grief to be minimal🙏🏼🙏🏼

    • Oh my loving sister Barbara. You have spent untold hours and days with me and Fritz here on the farm. You know our beautiful bond better than most. We had a loving marriage and such a full life! I am grateful for our 40 years together. Forty years May 22nd 2019. As ill as Fritz was, you saw he managed to send me my roses. I don’t know how. Yes I will miss him with every ounce of my being and I am so glad he has shed his pain and suffering here on Earth. Thank you for everything you do and for being by my side with Fritz to his end. I love you so very much!

  • Fritz was an wonderful man for which to work but, more importantly, an exceptional friend. My happiest days in claims came during my tenure under Fritz and he taught me the importance of treating people fairly and as I would want treated. He has left a remarkable impact on every individual for which he came in contact and we are all blessed to have known him. My heart goes out to his precious Betty, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and the rest of his family. Heaven has gained a great one. Rest peacefully my friend until we see each other again.

    • John, thank you for remembering Fritz with your lovely sentiments! He loved teaching his new recruits and you were always special to him. He saw that “something” in you – and he was so right!
      We certainly will meet again in Heaven. See you there too one day!
      Thanks John! Betty

  • Dear Betty,

    It is always sad to hear the passing of someone from our Nationwide family. Fritz was one of the good ones for sure. Cathy and I will keep him and especially you in our prayers.

    May the Lord bless him and keep him. May His face shine upon him, and be gracious to him. May He grant him eternal peace. Amen.


    Pat & Cathy Wyatt

    • Pat, thank you and Cathy for the beautiful prayer and special thoughts of Fritz. He was so very precious to me and the best husband any wife could wish for. I will miss him terribly, but I am comforted by knowing his struggle is now over. Best to you and your family, especially your beautiful new granddaughter!

  • Betty
    So sorry to hear of the lose of ur husband, Fritz you and your family are in our prayers and you have our deepest sympathies.

    • Connie, thank you so much for thinking of me and Fritz. The love and support of friends is so very comforting. My best to you!

  • F. D., my brother by birth; my friend, mentor and “shadow” by the good blessing of God. The man, who, from my earliest days, taught me to be always truthful, to be curious, to question, take risks, to be courteous, respectful, fair, kind, grateful, generous and above all else, establish as the keystone of my life, the fixed principles of honesty and personal integrity. Those were his values; they embodied his character and they formed the spirit of a man who was extraordinary in every way.

    I remember sitting on his knee while he read the daily Christmas Story from the Canton Repository when he first came home from his job, after the Navy, as Parts Manager for Bowlus Nash. Never too tired or busy to read to me. I remember my first bicycle that he reconditioned, painted painstakingly blue and cream, and then taught me how to ride.

    I also remember him giving me a haircut; cutting my ear which required a visit to the Mercy Hospital emergency room for stitches; the boxing lesson, when painfully, he taught me the difference between a left hook and an uppercut, I also remember playing catch in our front yard when one of my errant throws went through the living room window and he disappeared leaving me standing like a deer in headlights!

    Most of all I remember our quiet conversations, times when he chastised as well as praised, times of sharing, “blue skying” and just being “brothers.” He was special beyond special and while his passing brings considerable pain, sorrow and sadness that is not what he would want. He would want memories of recollections that reflected joy, contentment, peace of mind and heart, and the satisfaction of knowing he lived a life of goodness, dignity and uprightness.

    My brother by birth … my friend by dint of his love. f

    • Fritzie, my favorite brother-in-law! This very sad journey of the man we both loved with abandon is now over, So very glad for him. So very empty for us. Where could I begin with my expression of love to you during this time? We didn’t know when you and Beverly visited that weekend that in 5 short days you would return from PA and stand by my side to Fritz’s passing. I so loved the interplay between you two. I will always remember when Fritz said “ don’t come visit” but you came anyway. Thank you doesn’t begin, but then, you know… I love you and Beverly for always being available. Just plain Thank You. Love, Betty

  • Betty, we were so sorry to hear of Fritz’s passing. We share in your sorrow. May God comfort you at this very sad time in your life. Sandra and Ralph Kenville

    • Sandy and Ralph, Thanks for you words of encouragement and comfort. Seems like a day ago Sandy and I met working evenings together at Nationwide. Just graduating high school and then becoming life-long friends! And then, many years later, my office beside Ralph’s. Amazing the paths of life. I appreciate you remembering Fritz. My best to you both.

  • Dear Betty,

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Fritz’s passing. You have my deepest sympathy. He was a great boss but more than that a good friend. Even though it has been many years since our last contact, I will miss him. I will keep you both in my prayers. God bless you, Steve Kusmus

    • Steve I so appreciate your remembrance of Fritz. He so enjoyed his time in Youngstown and his crew of wonderful, talented Nationwiders. I remember a couple claims outings and playing golf when you got stung by a bee! Lots of good memories created by special people like you. Thanks for your kind words. Betty

  • Betty and family, we were so very saddened to hear of Fritz passing.

    He was always a joy to be around and I will miss him.

    May the Lord comfort you and give you peace in this time of Sorrow.

    Terry and Pam Hissong

    • Thank you Terry and Pam. Yes, Fritz was a happy man, with much to be grateful for and he knew it. We thank you for your friendship and remembering him at my time of sorrow. Betty

  • Betty, I am so very sorry to learn of Fritz’s passing. I remember you and Fritz as made for each other. I wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time. My thoughts and prayer are with you. Take care.

    • Thanks Nancy. It is so good of you to wish me comfort. I am so very sad at Fritz’s passing. But I am comforted by friends like you from long ago and nearby. Thank you, My best to you. Betty

  • Dear Sister Betty,
    So sorry to hear of Fritz passing. First, he is no longer in pain, suffering from illness but in peace.
    There is little I can say to you when you lost the love of your life but be assured that you both have been in my thoughts and prayers.
    I am so grateful that I had a few special moments with Fritz and I always had great admiration for him. I find it comforting to know that at his last birthday party we were able to attend, Fritz and I were able to have time to talk and I thanked him and expressed to him how grateful I was to have him as a brother-in-law because I never had to worry about my sister as brothers do. I told him when Betty had told me you were a God sent I truly believed her because I have witnessed the joy’s you two shared . Like Fritz he just modestly replied with a “thanks.” So at least he and I was able to have that moment of understanding and I was able to share my feelings with him which I find comforting.
    Betty, Terry and I send our love and deepest condolences to you and Fitz’s family.

    • Thank you for remembering us in your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate yours and Terry’s condolences. Betty

  • Betty,
    I am so sorry to hear of loss of your husband. I hope that your cherished memories will provide you with some comfort in days ahead.
    My deepest sympathy for you.

    • Thank you so much Dana. You are such a beautiful person who shares Fritz’s love of animals. And that commonality strengthened your friendship. Thank you for loving his Brittanys and making him happy. He’s now loving on Beau, Casey and, of course his first love, Sassee! He is at Peace. Betty

  • Oh my heart, Aunt Betty, You & Uncle Fritz have been such great examples of love & Kindness to our family. So many beautiful memories together & so many beautiful memories at the farm.
    Uncle Fritz was always so proud to show us his puppies, the lamas and letting the kiddos have horse back rides back in the day.
    I will cherish these moments with him in my heart.
    I will miss us being together in this world; however,
    it brings a smile to my face and comfort to my heart to know we will celebrate together in heavenly places again one day!
    All our Love, Tim & Ronda

    • Tim and Ronda, you two always have a very special place in our hearts – me and Fritz. Of all the people who spent time with us here on our farm, your family had the Best Time and enjoyed it the most. Even when a little one slid off Cherokee and nearly gave Fritz a heart attack. We loved having you here.
      Yes, Uncle Fritz is gone from us, but he is now shed of his pain and embraced by our Heavenly Father. We will all see him again and all our loved ones in Christ. I will be so overjoyed to once again embrace my Fritz. Until then, thank you for your love and caring here on Earth. Love, Aunt Betty

  • We are so sorry for your loss. Fritz was a gentleman who always had the interest of his people at heart. May God give you strength during this difficult time.

    • Thanks Doc for your kind words. Fritz and I had a beautiful, full life together for 40 years. A treasure in my heart. My best to you and Deb. Betty