He was born April 20, 1931, in Clay County, the son of Jennings Fritz and Betty Leohr Fritz. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked as a machinist for Peabody Coal Company for many years, retiring in 1988.
Mel was a member of the Clay City VFW and American Legion. He had also been a member of the F & AM. He had been active and had been the past president of the Clay City Lion's Club. Mel enjoyed traveling, especially to Europe. He also enjoyed tending to his vegetable garden and spending time with family. He was a member of the First United Church of Christ.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two granddaughters Heather Fritz and Rae-ann Fritz.
Survivors include his loving wife Audrey Cooper Fritz, Clay City, their children Stacey A. Butcher-Cotter (Matt), Tullahoma, Tenn., Susan Modesitt, Terre Haute, Myla Johnson, Dallas, Texas, Gordon Johnson (Tina), O'Fallon, Mo., and Chris Fritz (Laurie), West Terre Haute, nine grandchildren Kennedy, Gavin, Conner, Parker, Stephanie, Timothy, Sarah, Creed and Christopher, one great-grandchild, one brother Don Fritz (Thelma), Clay City, and one sister Rosemary Stephens (Jerry), Bowling Green, and several nieces and nephews and extended family.
Services for Mel will be held at Schoppenhorst Funeral Home, Thursday Dec. 30, 2010, at 3 p.m., with Rev. Julie Western officiating. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 1 p.m., until the time of services. Donations may be made to the Clay City Lions Club and the Clay County Humane Shelter.
Light a candle in his memory at www.schoppenhorstfuneralhome.com.