Services for Joe Edward Fritcher, 95, of Tyler will be held on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm at Stewart Family Funeral Home with Dr. Darryle Dunks officiating. Burial will be Saturday at 1:00 pm at Pilot Point Community Cemetery in Pilot Point under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Mr. Fritcher passed away on Monday, January 31, 2011 in Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler.
He was born on March 16, 1915 in Pilot Point to the late Frank and Isolena O’Dell Fritcher. He served his country as a gunner’s mate first class in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor, serving on the USS California. He then was assigned to the USS Astoria and fought in the battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal, and Savo Island. He also participated in the 1946 expedition, called Operation High Jump, to the South Pole with Admiral Richard Byrd. Mr. Fritcher served in the Navy for eight years and was a recipient of the Purple Heart, the WWII Victory Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Medal for service in the Pacific Theatre, The President’s Medal, and the Pearl Harbor Survivors Medal. After the war, he became a licensed mortician and was a self-employed lumber broker until his retirement in 1976. Mr. Fritcher was a Baptist deacon and a faithful member of Green Acres Baptist Church. He was also a Mason, a member of the Fort Worth Scottish-Rite and a member of Woodmen of the World.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Fritcher was preceded in death by his wife of fifty-two years, Dorothy Fritcher; brother, Henry Fritcher; and sister, Eloise Bouton.
He is survived by a loving family including his son and wife, Eddie and Sandra Fritcher of Tyler; brother, James Fritcher of Gold Beach, Oregon; grandchildren, Kenneth Fritcher and wife, Amy, of Canton; Seth Fritcher and wife, Michaelanne of San Antonio; Sarah Fritcher Mills and husband, Brent, of Tyler; and Rebecca Fritcher of Baltimore, Maryland; great-grandchildren, Emily, Daulton, Cole, Garrett, Logan, and Addison; and many nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Jerry Fritcher, Jimmy Fritcher, Mike Fritcher, Billy Ray Pedigo, Bill Duncan, and Charles Munn.
Honorary pallbearers include Jimmy Hayes, Ronnie Dixon, Randall Grooms, Woody Wood, Lynn Lister, and Grady Barr.
Visitation is scheduled from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 3 at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway, in Tyler.
Joe Fritcher was a hero and role model to his family because of his unwavering faith, his unwavering patriotism, and his unwavering love for his family.
Memorials in honor of Joe Fritcher may be made to The American Freedom Museum at The Brook Hill School, 1051 N. Houston Street, Bullard, TX 75757-0668.