Eugene Donald Fritsch was born on March 25, 1928, to John H. Fritsch and Mary (Marie) B. (Kopf) in Danville, Illinois. Gene passed away on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at Colonial Manor where he had been a resident for 16 months.
Gene was a baptized, confirmed, life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church and attended its grade school. He was a 1946 graduate of Danville High School. After high school he worked at Hacker’s Fair on 207-209 East Main Street in Danville for 11 years. In mid-1950s he became a 10% of Hacker’s Fair.
He served as a supply sergeant in the Army Reserves for 10 years.
In 1958, he purchased a newsstand business from Danville Paper Co. which became known as Fritsch’s on the Square. It was known for having large city and local newspapers, paperback books for general reading and fulfilling DHS lit class requirements, and specialty books. It was a gathering spot for comic books connoisseurs and lovers of candy and soda. Tobacco aficionados found custom blended pipe tobaccos and cigars along with regular cigarettes. In 1975, Fritsch’s moved to 15 North Vermilion Street until it closed in 1989.
It was a training ground for family members and many teens. It closed when Gene realized the toll tobacco addiction took on his customers. He personally helped six people quit and many to decrease their tobacco usage.
He joined Travelers’ Protective Association in 1949 and the Vermilion County Historical Society in 1964. He liked Studebaker cars and historical books.
His parents; brother, John D Fritsch; sister-in-law, JoAnn (Bohn), and niece, Pamela (Martin) Jimson predeceased him. Survivors include niece Beverly (Fritsch) Ledwon; grandnieces: Kristy Jimson, Amanda (Bruce) Rutland, and Katari Jimson; great-grandnieces: Alexus Jimson-Miller and Phoenix Jimson; great-grandnephews: Ethan Jimson, Andrew Rutland, Teppo Jimson-Enos.
Visitation for Gene will be on Monday, February 24, 2020 from 11am-Noon at Trinity Lutheran Church, 824 E. Main St. in Danville, with services immediately following at 12 (Noon). Pastor Kent Tibben will officiate. Memorials for this kind and generous man may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church. Memories and messages for the family may be left on our website at www.krugercoanpape.com, or on the Kruger Coan Pape Facebook page.
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