Mary Venitta (Jones) Fritz

July 10, 1922 ‒ March 29, 2009

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Mary Venitta (Jones) Fritz, age 86, died Sunday March 29 at Morrow County Hospital following a brief illness. Born July 10, 1922 in Chesterville, she was the seventh of nine children born to David Ellis and Inez Iona (Keiser) Jones. Mary graduated from Gibsonburg Ohio High School in 1940. On September 21, 1947, Mary married Clarence M Fritz, Jr. at the Fritz residence on Blackbird Pike (County Road 123) where they resided for 58 years. Mary resided at Morrow Manor after Clarence’s death in 2006.

Growing up with five older brothers, Mary was taught to ballroom dance at an early age. As a young teenager her brothers often took her along on their dates so they had a compatible dance partner. She enjoyed playing all card games especially New York Rummy, euchre, and pinochle.

Mary’s working life was varied. She waitressed at the old 3R’s restaurant, Beecher’s Frozen Custard, the Globe Hotel, and the Dairy Bar-H. She was a cashier at the original Krogers in Mt. Gilead and at Beal’s Royal Blue. She worked at Cosmo Manufacturing in Mt. Gilead before she retired in the 1970’s.

She was a member of Harmony Chapel United Methodist Church. Mary was a lifetime member of Morrow County Business Women’s Association and the Evelyn Chapter # 146, OES. She served multiple times in almost every station and greatly enjoyed traveling throughout Ohio visiting other chapters. She was appointed as a Grand Page to the Grand Secretary in 1981 and as the Grand Representative of Georgia in Ohio for 1990-1991. Her visits to the Georgia Grand Chapter were special occasions which she thoroughly enjoyed. Mary was active in the Morrow County Republican Central and Executive Committees and the Republican Women for many years. In 1995 she was named Morrow County Republican of the Month by the Central Committee. In January 1996, she was named the Woman of the Year by the Morrow County Republican Women’s Organization and honored at the ORFC Tribute to Women in Columbus. In 2002 she was honored by The Ohio House of Representatives for her “exemplary record of service to the community.”

She was a 4-H advisor for over 25 years and she enjoyed sharing her talents as a seamstress and cook with her daughters as well as nieces and other young neighborhood girls. Mary was an excellent cook and entered many items in both the Morrow County Fair and the Ohio State Fair. Her specialties were red raspberry pie which earned her many champion ribbons at the County Fair and chili sauce at the State Fair. In August 1979 she was featured in the Ohio Magazine in an article highlighting her gardening and famous chili sauce.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, six brothers: John, Harry, Virgil, Raymond, Aaron, and David; a sister and brother-in-law, Beatrice and Wilbert Waters; and a sister-in-law Francis (Molly) Jones.

She will missed by her two daughters Patricia (Grove) Rinehart and Linda Fritz both of Mount Gilead; her grandchildren Beth and Jeff Gress of Granville and Shawn and Amy Rinehart of Chesterville; her great grandsons Andrew and Sam Gress and Luke and Ben Rinehart; her sister and brother-in-law Norma (Howard) and Gene Frazier; numerous nieces and nephews; as well as the loving caregivers of Morrow Manor.

Friends may call on the family on Wednesday April 1, 2009 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 North Main Street, Mount Gilead where Eastern Star services will be held at 7:45 p.m. Pastor Jeannie Winters will conduct services there on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, Morrow Manor activity fund, or Harmony Chapel United Methodist Church.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com .