Cover photo for Donna Fritz's Obituary
Donna Fritz Profile Photo

Donna Fritz

September 18, 1938 — February 1, 2023

Gibbon, NE/Winona

Donna Fritz

Donna J. Fritz, age 84, passed away Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at her home in Gibbon, Nebraska.

Donna was born September 18, 1938, in Winona, Minnesota, to Theodore and Elizabeth (Malenke) Braatz.  Her childhood was spent in the beautiful valley of Pickwick, Minnesota, attending Pickwick Grade School and helping her parents with daily farm life.  Once chores were done, Donna, fondly nicknamed “Dickie” by her dad, and her siblings, Shirley (“Sido”) and Gary (“Duke”) would run off to their neighboring friends, the Gunderson’s.  Hours would be spent indoors and outdoors playing with Gene, Janice, Donnie, and Laurie.  Playing cards, making mud pies, but the kids most loved making up skits and plays and then acting them out on an improvised stage with often Vic and Agnes as their audience…that was the life!

Donna graduated from Winona Senior High School in 1956.  She was a participant in the Steamboat Days Pageant and was declared first runner-up.  On August 13, 1960, she was united in marriage to Marlin Fritz of Stockton. They made their home in Dubuque, Iowa, where Donna began her newspaper career at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.  They spent early years of the marriage taking their team of black Percheron draft horses and their Dalmatian dog (Queenie) to participate in local parades and various State Fairs. The couple welcomed their only child, daughter, Dee Anna (Dee Dee) in April 1967.  Donna stayed at home with Dee Dee before rejoining the workforce in 1977.

Donna worked 30 years at the Kearney Hub, working in classified sales.  Donna later worked at First National Bank in the credit card division before her retirement, but she was always loyal to the black and white print of newspapers.  Donna, a collector of many things, loved searching for cookbooks at Goodwill and other thrift stores; she loved a good find! In 1989, Donna used her cooking skills and took a Greyhound Bus from Kearney Nebraska to Jackson Mississippi, where she would take first place in a recipe cook-off; her Cajun catfish, bringing home the cash reward and bragging rights.

Donna is survived by her daughter, Dee Anna Fritz of Grand Island, NE.  She also leaves behind one sister, Shirley Kauphusman, Winona, MN, and many nieces, nephews, friends, and of course, her beloved cats.  Donna was preceded in death by her parents; sisters: Delores Whitney and Betty Dejno; brother, Gary Braatz; brothers-in-law: Peter Whitney and Edward Kauphusman; and sister-in-law, Mary Braatz.

Visitation will be held at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 E. Sarnia St., Winona, on Saturday, February 11, 2023, from 10:30 AM until the funeral service at 11:30 AM.  Pastor James Nelson will officiate.  Burial will be in the Pickwick Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be: Kim Dejno, James Patrick, Alan Whitney, Terry Zittel, Forrest Zittel, and Foster Zittel.

A memorial service will also be held in Kearney, Nebraska, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Donna’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Fritz, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 11, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home

376 E Sarnia St, Winona, MN 55987

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home

376 E Sarnia St, Winona, MN 55987

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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