Boyd Fritz loved the simple things in life – fishing, cards, and the Cincinnati Reds, but for him, patriotism was not simple. He risked his life to protect America’s freedoms.
To honor his legacy, the family of Boyd Fritz created the American Legion Endowment in the Franklin County Community Foundation. Each year, income from the fund will be used to honor veterans like Fritz who serve our country.
Fritz was born July of 1913 in Kentucky. In 1920, his family moved to a Levee Road farm, just outside Brookville, where they farmed. Fritz graduated from Brookville High School in 1930. He was in the same graduating class as Hazel Franzman, who would become a part of his life 12 years later.
Following his high school graduation in the throes of the Great Depression, Fritz worked on the family farm and held several odd jobs. Of his many positions, one included working at Maple Grove Cemetery.
In 1941, he entered the U.S. Military in the artillery. He returned home in 1942 to marry Hazel Franzman, then a one-room schoolteacher. He was a drill instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, until late 1944, when he was shipped to Europe. Fritz was assigned to the 13th armored tanks division.
After the war, Fritz returned to Hazel and Franklin County. They created a farm where Hazel’s roots ran deep, in Klemme’s Corner. The couple farmed for 14 years and had two children: Dennis and Mary Lucille. In 1960, the family moved to 7th Street in Brookville’s valley, where Fritz lived until he passed away in 2002.
Fritz enjoyed working, he worked at the Franklin County Farm Co-op, Sperry’s and Owens-Corning until his retirement in 1974. Hazel held a two-year degree from Ball State University, Fritz did not graduate from college, but he knew the value of an education. As a result, Fritz encouraged his children to attend college.
“His hobby was the American Legion,” Dennis Fritz said. “He was pretty strong on male camaraderie. He liked his friends and helped fry chicken for years.”