Joseph E. “Joe” Fritch, age 39, of Oak Harbor, died at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham on April 26, 2003.
Mr. Fritch was born in Kewanee, Ill., March 12, 1964, to George Fritch and Marcella (Ryan) Fritch. He was raised in Henry, Ill., where he graduated from high school. Following high school graduation, he entered the U.S. Navy and served three years, ending his service at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Joe was married to Angela Frank on Sept. 30, 1988, in Mount Vernon. He had been employed as a steam plant engineer for Del-Jen. Joe enjoyed golfing and playing pool. He also enjoyed camping in the mountains with his family. He loved motorcycling, and dreamed of owning a Harley.
Joe is survived by his wife Annie, at home; three daughters, Sammie Jo, at home in Oak Harbor, Eva Wheeler and fiancee Jeff Bushnell of Corvallis, Ore., and Mandy Peak and husband Jason of Cherry Point, N.C.; three grandchildren, Logan and Austin Wheeler and Billy Peak; his parents, George and Marcella Fritch of Wyoming, Ill.; six brothers, Mike Fritch and wife Pam of Cambridge, Ill., Brad LaPayne and wife Julie, Bruce LaPayne and Bryan LaPayne, all of Champagne, Ill., Burt LaPayne and Andy Fritch and wife Darla, both of Wyoming, Ill.; his sister, Susie Smith and husband Jonathan of New Martinsville, W.V.; also, numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister-in-law Stella LaPayne.
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 30, 2003, from noon until 5 p.m. and Thursday, May 1, from 9 a.m. until noon at Burley Funeral Chapel. A memorial service will be Thursday, May 1, at 2 p.m., at Burley Funeral Chapel, Rev. Fred Renfroe, Cmdr., CHC, USN (Ret) officiating. Arrangements by Burley Funeral Chapel.