George Fritsch

Rhody Family Funeral Home

George William Harold was born Tuesday, April 3, 1948 to Catherine Elizabeth (Cain) and Arnold “Harold” Fritsch. George’s father was born December 23, 1903 in Egremont Township. Catherine, George’s mother was born August 11, 1922 in Sullivan Township, also known as Tipperary.

George’s parents were married March 25, 1942. The family lived in Peabody. Sadly, Harold was killed instantly in a tragic trucking accident just north of Elmwood. There had been heavy snowfall, strong winds and poor visibility. It was 1951 and Harold was only forty-seven. Catherine, Helen, Beatrice, George, and Orial were left to survive on their own. In time Catherine married Harold Elwood Parker and they had one daughter, Mary. Harold passed away November 14, 1989, at the age of seventy-five. They had been married only 10 years. Catherine died March 10, 1997 at the age of seventy-four.

George and his siblings attended a small, one room school house in Peabody. When he was fourteen he moved out of the family home and in with the Mair family. Walter Mair and George grew up as brothers and are good friends to this day.

He was used to hard work, and anxious to get a good paying job, George dropped out of high school in Chesley and joined the work force. He was working for John Thomson at Heirloom Furniture when he met the love of his life, Gail Anne Thomson.

Gail and George were both avid Stock Car racers. If the truth be told, Gail was the better driver, winning more trophies than George. She even won the ‘roll over’ trophy. (Yikes!) For a couple of years after high school, George pursued racing on the Williamsford dirt track. Believe it or not, George used to drive the young man Gail was dating at the time, up to Owen Sound where she worked at Victorian Grey Trust. (What a nice guy!) Once that relationship ended, George made his move and four years of dating finally led to marriage. They were married on May 15, 1970 at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Chesley.

George and Gail and the older girls lived in his mother’s house in Peabody as Catherine had moved to Paisley to be with her second husband Harold. After seven years, George found the courage to ask his Uncle Louis and Aunt Almira Maluskie to sell him the farm where they live today.

Tracy was born in 1970, Teresa in 1972, and a while later Tammy was born in 1983. Around the same time the kid from up the road, Kevin Klages started hanging out and helping George on the farm and over time has become a cherished family friend.

In 1991 they welcomed their first of 7 grand-children, Alyssa. 1999 was a tragic year for the family as the farm house they lived in burned down during a severe thunderstorm. That same year there was a horrible jet-ski accident involving Teresa’s daughter Alyssa, and Tracy lost a baby. The new millennium couldn’t come soon enough for them.

George so loved his animals even to this day. After his stag party he used the money to buy his first cow, which he fondly named “Pet”. He actually refused to send her to market and she died of old age on the farm. He also had goats and their milk helped put the girls through post-secondary school. And of course, to know George and Gail would be to know their more recent love of donkeys! Pepper, his four-legged soul mate followed him everywhere and was with George until the very end. She never left his side until Gail carried her to the house when help arrived.

George bought his first truck in 1976 to support his family. He also had several side businesses including growing garlic, making sauerkraut, snow blowing and selling beef to families and friends to fill their freezers. He was definitely a hard worker and entrepreneur. George continued to drive truck until five years ago. Over the years he drove through snow storms, rain, fog, sunshine and whatever else Mother Nature threw his way. Most runs were local with the occasional long distance trip. When George did retire from trucking he did not miss the inclement weather but he sure did miss the comradery!

Trucking was an important part of his life and through the years he worked for Mair Transport, B & I Transport, Hutton Transport and finally Donnelly Transport. He made many lifetime friends over the years and seems to know almost everyone.

George impressed upon his daughters the importance of hard work and it certainly has been passed down. For Tracy and Teresa, cleaning stables on Saturday mornings at 7am was the norm, regardless of how late they got in from the Friday night parties. Of course, there were also stables to clean and chores to be done every evening. Some nights the girls would have all the chores done by the time George drove in the laneway after a long day of work in the truck. Funny thing though, it wasn’t until the oldest two girls moved out that George bought an automatic bale thrower and other equipment to make work on the farm easier. The older girls’ envy towards Tammy’s lack of farming experience is an ongoing family joke.

He was also a “hard ass” coach! George would stand the older girls in front of the barn door and throw the ball at them as hard as he could. If they caught the ball, great! If they missed the catch the ball bounced off the barn and hit them in the back! A little harsh perhaps, but the girls sure became good ball players. Tammy being the youngest was able to experience more travel and social activities. They often went for Chinese Food and spent time visiting with friends and travelling to Manitoulin Island.

George had an inside connection with Santa Claus, as he pulled the Santa float in the Chesley Christmas Parade for 25 years.

George really did love his girls. He knew with three daughters, the boys would follow and that that they did, both in son-in-laws and grandsons. He had rules for dating his daughters and all but one followed them closely ;). His grand-daughters had a special place in his heart as well. He was able to catch the odd girl’s hockey game if they played in Clinton or Saugeen Shores. Regardless, there was always a hug to say “Hi” and a “Me Too!” to say “I Love You” and many, many “Papa kisses” to say good-bye.

In their free time, Gail and George loved to play cards (euchre, pepper or loot) with their card party friends: the George’s, the Luckharts, and the Hepburn/Paddons. George also played broomball at one time, and cheered on the older girls as they played in their teenage years.

Fond memories also surround making sauerkraut with Fred and Judy Ruhl. They would grow their own cabbage and then spend a weekend shredding and mixing bags and bags to sell to family and friends. George also sold beef directly to customers and the list grew longer every year. His beef was known as “Papa’s beef” within the family and was a favourite meal for anyone who had it.

George was not much of a dancer, in fact it has been said that he was funny to watch when he dances. But he did love country music, anything from Charlie Pride to Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and Randy Travis.

When watching TV, George really liked programs like Law and Order and Forensic Files. And of course, his beloved Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. While watching TV you could guarantee he had a Labatt Blue or ice tea with vodka in one hand and cigarette in the other. Most times he also had a toothpick in his mouth.

Many special memories were shared with the neighborhood gang, the Knapps, the Subjects, the Albrights, the Baileys and the Cavills. George was well-known and respected by the Amish in the area. The family was told that his death has had a huge impact on their community. The outpouring of support from them has been overwhelming.

Another passion of George’s was buying lottery tickets and playing slots at the casino. One time he came home with $8000 in his pocket and was afraid Gail would be upset with him, wondering how much he spent to win that much money! Gail and George did make a few trips over the years to Las Vegas and Nashville with close friends.

Recently, George and Steve began teaching the boys how to shoot with a BB gun. Papa was very strict about the gun safety rules, even BB guns and when they finally got to shoot, they had targets made of old mop handles and Gatorade bottles.

Working hard to provide for his family George often said he knew that Gail raised the girls, but as the years went by George’s greatest passion became his grandchildren! First Alyssa, then Meghan, Liam, Georgia, Logan, Landon and Avery. Of course, given the range of ages, some got to spend more time with Papa than others. But with texting, emailing, and Facebook he was able to see pictures often about what they were all up to. And over the last few years the younger grandkids were able to spend a week at a time on the farm helping with chores or experiencing farm life with their grandparents. At Christmas, sometimes Thanksgiving and Easter the entire family would descend upon the farm for a weekend, leaving the house bursting at the seams. Fifteen people and two dogs under one roof made for a home full of love and laughter. And this week they were back on the farm minus one very important person. Gail and the girls have been surrounded by so much love this week and for that they are grateful. Thank you to everyone who has dropped in with food and flowers. Please continue to stop by the farm, with the girls living so far away, it’s comforting to know she will have visitors.

Sadly, George William Harold Fritsch of R.R. #4, Chesley, passed away suddenly at home on Monday, July 23, 2018 in his 71st year.

Beloved husband of Gail (Thomson). Loving father of Tracy (Steve) Harvie of Glencoe, Teresa (Aniel) Sitlani of Stouffville, and Tammy (Brandon) Scott of Innisfil. Cherished grandfather of Meghan, Georgia, Alyssa, Liam, Logan, Landon and Avery. Dear brother of Helen Maxwell (George) of Kilworthy, Beatrice (Jim) Loughlean of Surrey, B.C., Orial Wayner of Owen Sound, and Mary (Tony) Parker of Kirkland Lake. Brother-in-law of Chuck (Ruth) Thomson. Fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews and close family friends Kevin, Tammy, Colton and Mavis Klages. George will be missed by his four legged companion, Pepper.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday, August 2, 2018 from 5 – 9 p.m. A memorial service celebrating George’s life will be held at St. John’s United Church, Chesley (123 2nd Avenue S.E.) on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 11 a.m.

***In lieu of flowers and to celebrate George’s love of farming the family has decided to start the George Fritsch Memorial Scholarship in support of the Bluewater District School Board Agricultural Specialist High Skills Major Program. (Cheques payable to BWDSB). The scholarship will be awarded to an area student who has an agricultural background and must be pursuing a post-secondary education in agriculture or related field. The recipient will be determined by the school awards committee, with input from the staff. 

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larry and Susette McLeod
August 6, 2018
Gail,Tracy,Teresa,Tammy & Familes.
We are very sad to hear of George’s passing. Although my memories of George were from a number of years ago I do remember lots of fun and laughs. George was one of those guys everyone wanted to be his friend and be around him. May your memories give you peace and comfort during this difficult time. Think of you all often

Larry and Susette
Sherry & Roger and Tiff Caldwell
August 2, 2018
Dear Gail and family,

George was an awesome man. Loved by all whom had the pleasure to meet him. George loved to farm and talk farming, cattle markets was always a topic we hit on. George trucked my big charlois to market many times. On one of these trips he gave Tiffany who was in about Grade 1 the opportunity to ride up there beside him. Tiff got hooked and rode every time we shipped our boys. My heart goes out to you Gail and girls and all the family in the loss of this amazing Husband,Dad,and Papa. My thoughts also go to Pepper who has lost her best friend.
Lots of big hugs to all. Our community just will not be the same without George.
Sincerely, Sherry & Roger and Tiff Caldwell
Mark & Michele Smailes
August 2, 2018
Gail & family
We were very sorry to hear of George's passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Pat & Linda O’Leary
August 1, 2018
Our sincere condolences. In your travel through life it’s always wonderful to meet special people and George was one of those people.
Stacy & Becky Charlton
July 30, 2018
Our sincere condolences to you all on the tragic loss of George, our thoughts and prayers are with you . May your happy memories sustain you at this sad time.
Dale and Judy Cutting
July 28, 2018
Our deepest sympathy Gail to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.
Kim and Chub McComb
July 28, 2018
Gail, we were so shocked and sad to hear about George. We really enjoyed our visits with the two of you and could tell George was so proud of his family, home and animals. The girls especially enjoyed watching him and the dog have a beverage! May your wonderful family and community help you through this time Gail.
Mary Keetch
July 28, 2018
Very sorry for your loss.
July 27, 2018
Gail,Tracey,Teresa, Tammy and families. I remember many a time George coming into Fat Jacks lots of stories with many other drivers as well. I was glad to have recently had the opportunity of hearing many stories and pranks pulled on my dad by George, Peter, Wayne and others. Hold onto the many memories they will forever be cherished thinking of the entire family through this time. Xoxo
Fran Ritchie
July 27, 2018
My condolence to you Gail and the girls and their families. He will be missed so much by all that knew him. RIP George
Marlene Witzke
July 27, 2018
My deepest sympathy Gail, and family. So sorry for your loss.
Larry & Sue Bluhm
July 27, 2018
Our sincere sympathy to Gail, Daughters and extended families.
Keep his memory safe in your hearts !
Bev & Nancy
July 26, 2018
Gail, Tracey, Teresa, Tammy & families. George’s love, his laugh, the memories you made, the life lessons will stay with you forever...those are his gifts to you. Sending you our deepest heartfelt sympathy on the loss of an exceptional man. He will be missed. Xoxo
Al and Karen Barfoot
July 26, 2018
Gail and family, we are so sorry to hear of George's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Joan and Rick Denomy
July 26, 2018
Gail, Tracy, Teresa, Tammy and families. We are sending our deepest sympathy to all of you.
I'm still a little in shock as he was such a vibrant figure. George loved his family and his farm.

I always enjoyed our visits when we went "rock" picking. George would always come and find us and have a little social time before we left.
He always had a good word, and if you were lucky a good story. Our hearts break for you. We will remember George fondly. ((Hugs to All))
Csiszer family
July 26, 2018
Our deepest sympathy to you Teresa and family. Thinking of all of you at this difficult time. May He rest in peace.
Dave & Heather Middleton
July 26, 2018
Our deepest sympathy Gail , and family
we are so sorry for you loss.

Dave & Heather
Lisa Dollery
July 26, 2018
George and his stories will be missed.

"There are no goodbyes for us.
Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart."

-- Mahatma Gandhi
Marcel & Tanya Arbour
July 26, 2018
We are sorry for the loss of a great man. May everyone remember the great times he enjoyed with you all.
Blythe Family
July 25, 2018
Tracy, Steve, Meghan, Georgia, may your memories lift you up in this time of sadness.
Our condolences to all the family.
The Blythe Family
Ron Lamont
July 25, 2018
Deepest sympathy to Gail and family.
Debbie hettrick/Bonnie bierworth
July 25, 2018
Gail and family
We are thinking of you during this difficult sorry for your loss. George was a great man and will be missed by many.he made friends where ever he went. Whatever will the grandchildren do without him .I am sure hid treasured memories will guide them in the right direction thru life.our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Don & Marion McAllister
July 25, 2018
Our Sincere Sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Murray and Shannon McNabb
July 25, 2018
Dear Gail and girls, we are deeply saddened to hear of George's sudden passing. I always enjoyed George's farming and trucking stories. Thinking of you during the days and week's ahead. Great neighbor , the community will miss him.
Murray Shannon Dawson Colleen and Garrett McNabb
Terry Murphy
July 25, 2018
My condolences to you and the family I had just seen George about an hour earlier, I will always remember the good time and talks
Susan Dolphin
July 25, 2018
My sincere condolences to all of you.
Jeff Vandervoort & Bobbi Jo Jackson
July 25, 2018
Our sympathy to each and every one of you...George will be missed dearly by so many...Cherish the wonderful memories xo
Paula Roose
July 25, 2018
My sincere condolences for your loss. Tracy, I am sending prayers and thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.
John @Cheryl Minke
July 25, 2018
To Gail and Families. May precious memories bring comfort to you and your family in your time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time
Doug and Bonnie Sacks
July 25, 2018
Our deepest sympathy to you Gail and your Family. He will be remembered in our hearts as a true gentlemen and friend. God Bless you All.
Jennifer & Parker Wallace
July 25, 2018
Thinking of you all.
Krysten Gibbs
July 25, 2018
Gail, Tracy, Teresa, Tammy and families,
Sending condolences to all of you. George was definitely one of a kind, and touched so many people's lives, he is going to be greatly missed.
Hugs to you all through this very difficult time.
Harold and Ruth Klages
July 25, 2018
Dear Gail, Tracy, Teresa and Tammy. We are so very sorry to hear of George's passing. He was always so friendly, even at 2:00 in the morning, when we usually loaded our cattle.
Caring hugs!
Carol & Jim Krueger
July 25, 2018
Gail,Tracy,Teresa,Tammy & Familes.
We are saddened to hear of George's sudden passing. We have so many great memories. His smile, laugh and sense of humor will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very difficult time.

Carol & Jim
Dwight and Christine Thomson
July 24, 2018
We are so saddened to hear of your loss. May God be with you all.
Brenda Laplaunte
July 24, 2018
To Gail, Tracy, Teresa, Tammy and families.
The loss of George leaves a tremendous hole in the heart of our family. He was a wonderful man and loved by all. Love and hugs to all. ❤
Sheila Klerks
July 24, 2018
I'm so sorry for your loss Gail Tracy Teresa and Tammy.
Tony and Astrid Bleumer
July 24, 2018
Dear Gail and family, we were shocked and saddened to hear of Georges sudden passing. We will miss his many comical stories and big smile. Our thoughts and prayers to you all.
Tony and Astrid
Doug and Chris Fischer
July 24, 2018
Sending our condolences to Gail and family. Thinking of all of you at this difficult time.
Marydell McAlpine
July 24, 2018
To Gail and George's family:
I am so sorry about your great loss. I will always remember his huge smile.
Larry & Bobbi Biggs
July 24, 2018
Our sincere sympathy to you Gail, girls & families. We have fond memories & many smiles when we think of our times with George - he was a truly kind & generous man who will remain in our hearts forever.
Loren Gibbs
July 24, 2018
My deepest sympathy to all of you. Ill never forget going in the trucks with him and dad and visiting his donkeys although that was not the word he used. He was such a great man. He will be greatly missed.
Gary&Callee Thomson
July 24, 2018
We are so privileged to have had such a wonderful afternoon chit chat with Gail & George.

Cheryl fleet
July 24, 2018
Gail, girls, and families. I have no words to express my sympathy in the loss of a husband father and grandfather that was the epitome of what a man should be. His love kindness and soft heart shone through daily with George. His sense of humour was amazing his caring and love for life made everyone that came into contact with him smile. I am so sorry for your loss and hope the tremendous amount of happy memories help you to cope with your future.
Carol M. Jarvis
July 24, 2018
Deepest sympathy to you Gail and the family. George will be sadly missed.
bob & janet
July 24, 2018
our hearts go out to the whole family,he was a great person and fun to be around.We will all miss he dearly.RIP George
Deb & Boog Hepburn
July 24, 2018
Our sincerest condolences Gail to you and your family. George will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Beth McQuarrie
July 24, 2018
My heart breaks for all of you Gail, Tracy, Teresa, Tammy and families. He was one of a kind
and will be missed by everyone who knew him. It's hard to imagine a world without George. Hugs to all.

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Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

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Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

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