June Fritsch

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Elizabeth “June” was born on Saturday, June 9, 1928 in Bentinck Township to Elmer William and Elizabeth “Beth” (Henry) Hatten.

June was the middle child with two brothers, Wallace (1921) and Lorne (1924), being older than her and brother “Jack” (1931) and sister Joyce (1937) being younger. As June wrote in her own hand,

We were all born at home in a frame house on the 14th of Bentinck. The house was cold and every fall, my mother would rip old rags into long strips, and pack it in around the window frames, but somehow the snow would still blow in on the window sill! The water in the kettle on the stove would often be frozen in the morning. We always took a hot water bottle to bed. It was an old whiskey bottle and the thick glass held the heat well. After we were under the quilts, mother would throw an old fur coat over us, and blow out the lamp.

Even though June and her siblings grew up during the dirty 30’s they considered themselves fortunate as they never suffered, always having enough to eat. They picked wild berries and crab apples and canned fruit was their primary dessert. June remembered the first time she had gelatin with orange segments. “It was a real treat!” in addition, the family grew their own vegetables and raised pigs, beef, and chickens. Yet again, June remembered plucking chickens with “cold, cold fingers every fall.”

June’s father owned and drove a big log truck, thus he was seldom home to help with the chores. However, he did slaughter the chickens, which “he was good at.” When he wasn’t hauling logs, racks were put on the truck and the family delivered stove wood. June’s job was to throw the wood, one at a time, onto the truck and then off of the truck at the delivery location. She wrote, “Dad always seemed to find someone to talk to while I did the work!” Funny enough, that was the same big truck June drove when she got her driver’s license at the age of sixteen. This in spite of the fact that every few years the Hatten family bought a new car. Elmer’s two brothers-in-law owned the Ford garage in Chesley, so she figured they must have received a good deal!

At the tender age of just nine years, June was washing Joyce’s baby laundry in a tub that was outside behind the woodshed. Their mother was confined to bed for three months following Joyce’s birth.  The water had to be heated on the woodstove and clothes had to be scrubbed on a washboard. Apparently, June also cooked a meal for the doctor who had come by horse and buggy, although she didn’t remember that.

June only went to school for five years and two or three months.  June had finished Grade 8 by the time she was 12. Throughout that whole time, she only had one teacher. As her older brother Wallace was attending high school, the heavy work of the farm fell to June and Lorne. “I helped work the land with a team of horses, forked manure into the spreader; milked cows; pitched sheaves of grain, coiled hay; and in springtime boiled sap.”

Gathering water for the family and cattle during the summer was always a challenge as their well and stream would both dry up. However, the meadow stream would flood in winter creating a natural skating pond for the children. In the summer, when the meadow was dry, they would gather the beaver grass, allow it to dry and used it to stuff their mattresses.

June met her future husband Ralph when he worked the bush for the two brothers from Conn, Ontario who owned the property next to the Hatten farm. Apparently, June threw snowballs at him as she walked to school! Wallace and Lorne also worked the bush and evenings were filled with music as there was an old-time fiddler. Ralph playing the banjo and Lorne (and June) playing the guitar. In addition to all this music, June also played Lorne’s guitar and sang at school picnics and garden parties along with Marion McManus. In later years, music was made along with Audrey and Philip McGuire which then included the piano as well.

In addition to working on the farm, June also worked, for a couple of months, for the local vet Leo Schuett, answering the phone even though she had never done so before. She also babysat their son and painted a few rooms. Her pay? $70.00 for the two months. That winter, June worked at the local Rubber Factory operating a sewing machine. Summer was spent working on the farm and she returned to the factory in the fall. However, it had changed hands and was then the Silknet Plant. June continued to operate a sewing machine, just working with different material.

At the age of twenty-one, on November 12, 1949, June and Ralph Homer Fritsch were married at the United Church Manse in Elmwood. Their attendants were Marion McManus and Howard Fritsch. The small ceremony was followed by a family dinner, of nineteen, at Scone. The newlyweds borrowed Ralph’s brother Harold’s car for their honeymoon, as Ralph’s car would never have made it! They went as far as Orillia and were away for two nights.

Ralph and June lived with Ralph's mom and dad for part of a year while their new house at Peabody was built. They were blessed with the birth of Ted on March 26, 1954 and Ken on March 26, 1957. So every year, there was one cake and two presents to celebrate their birthdays! 

To know the Fritsch’s is to know of their love for, and competence with horses. Standardbred racehorses to be exact. June’s favourite horse was Christie Riddle and in 1977 – 1978 she made them $54,000 and $57,000 respectively. This paid for the farm and their home. Not bad! Races were run from Hanover to Ottawa, Windsor, and Belleville. It would come as no surprise then that June’s favourite TV show was “Heartland.” In addition, the Fritschs also raised Herford cattle.

In 1989, Ralph and June built a home in Chesley, facing south. June was so thrilled with this. Sadly though, Ralph only lived a year or two longer, dying in 1990. It was after Ralph’s death that June did a lot of travelling. In a note to her family she wrote,

I’ve had a good life….I’ve been to 10 of Canada’s provinces, and to 36 of the United States. I’ve kissed that Blarney Stone [in Ireland]; and flew into the Grand Canyon in a helicopter. I’ve been into the winner’s circle many times; owned a race horse; saw a blue bird; got an orchid, and played a fiddle!... Life’s been great.

Fulfilled, June passed away at Hanover & District Hospital on Sunday, January 26, 2020 in her 92nd year.

Beloved wife of the late Ralph Fritsch (1990). Loving mother of Ted (Sharon) and Ken, all of R.R. #1 Chesley. Cherished grandmother of Michael (Nancy), Candace (Wes), Andrew (Nicole), Clayton (Kristy), Rachael (James), Kate (Jordan), Charlotte and great-grandmother of Zander, Ty and Grady. Sister-in-law of Shirley Doerr of Hanover and Alvin Zister of Woodstock. June will be fondly remembered by her daughter-in-law Lana Girodat of Neustadt. She was predeceased by brothers Wallace (Mary), Lorne (Beatrice), Jack, sister Joyce Zister and her parents Elmer and Elizabeth (Henry) Hatten.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Wednesday from 6 – 9 p.m. where a funeral service celebrating June’s life will be held on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior to the service. Spring interment in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to St. John’s United Church or Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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Lois Mahon
January 30, 2020
What a wonderful tribute to a very special lady. My sincere condolences.
Jack and Ellen Cavill
January 30, 2020
Our sympathy to all of you in the loss of a beautiful lady. She always had a smile on her face. Hold your memories close
Tracy Harvie
January 30, 2020

We are so very sorry to hear of Aunt June’s passing. I have many fond memories of her. Our thoughts are with all of you.
Donna(Hastie) Watke
January 30, 2020
Ted, Ken & families My deepest sympathy in the passing of your Mom . I have a lot of memories of our parents at community functions & dances but mostly of our Moms taking trips together. “Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts.”
Shannon McGuire Rhody
January 28, 2020
So very sorry to hear of the passing of June. I have very fond memories of her playing music with my Grandma & Grandpa McGuire along with Ralph. She was a very special lady. Always had a smile for you and time for a chat. May the music and memories live on forever in our hearts.
Brian Newman
January 28, 2020
Sorry for loss she always had her spot Hanover raceway grandstands with her big smile my sending are condolences .
Joan Allen
January 28, 2020
Ted, Ken and families, you have my sincere sympathy on your loss. Aunt June had many interests, and enjoyed such a variety experiences over the years. She lived a full life, and will be missed by all the family.
James Woods
January 28, 2020
Please accept my deepest sympathy to your families at this time.
Nancy & Bev Nickel
January 28, 2020
Sincerest sympathies in the loss of a wonderful lady. She was a great neighbour to us for a lot of years. Treasure your many memories.
Jo-Anne, Glen, Brad & Brianna Cook
January 28, 2020
To the Fritsch families, so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Grandmother. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Kelly Dodge
January 28, 2020
Dear Ted, Ken and Families,
Please accept my condolences for your family.
Love and Prayers, Kelly

Sherry Caldwell
January 28, 2020
Dear Ken and Family,
So sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. Always treasure the wonderful memories you had together. Big hugs and lots love to you. It is one of the hardest things to bear losing your Mom.
Sincerely, Sherry Caldwell
Paul & Brenda Walker
January 28, 2020
Ken and Family, sorry to hear of June’s passing. A true fan of Harness Racing, whether it was at Hanover Raceway or Tara Fair. We will miss seeing her in the Grandstand.
jane girodat
January 27, 2020
Family of June Fritsch
So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother and grandmother.
She was a lovely lady with so many talents.
Jane Girodat and Murray Willits
Brenda & Dave Hamel
January 27, 2020
Ted & Ken and Families
We are so sorry to learn of June’s passing. Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss

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Well Nathan…due to COVID and everything going on, you did an excellent job and you went above and beyond our expectation. COVID changed a lot of things, but in the end we were very satisfied. Thank you! 

Mary Kaufman

I can think of nothing you could have done to better improve our experience. My grandchildren & I all felt relaxed and so appreciated your quiet, excellent care of our family. You provided dignity & caring – so much appreciated. I somehow knew we were in good hands.

Joan Saunders

We were very pleased with everything. So much positive feedback was received! We felt so very supported and cared for throughout!! We would recommend your funeral home in a heartbeat. We were so happy to travel from Barrie to Chesley to have you take care of our John. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Ellis & Family

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

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Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

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Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

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

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

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.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

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“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

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Gloria Albright

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Deborah Hart

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William & Loraine Patterson

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Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

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Bernice Frook

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Valerie Long

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Steve Thomson

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Dave Hillier

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Olivia Strucke

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Kevin Dailey

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Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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