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Alfred ‘Fritz’ Bartsch

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Alfred ‘Fritz’ Bartsch
Alfred ‘Fritz’ Bartsch

Nov. 30, 1913 - Feb. 1, 2009

Alfred "Fritz" Bartsch passed away peacefully Feb. 1 at the age of 95, at Regency Park Assisted Living in Portland. Fritz was born Nov. 30, 1913, in Kaukauna, Wis., to Carl and Elizabeth Bartsch, and had an older brother and a sister, Charles and Mildred.

Fritz had a wonderfully adventurous upbringing, where he and his Dad were close fishing partners and duck hunters. Fritz was particularly proud of catching several elusive muskies, enjoyed his last salmon fishing trip at the age of 90, and loved his yearly perch fishing trips to Mercer Lake on the Oregon coast.

Upon graduating from high school in 1932, Fritz enrolled at the University of Minnesota to study architecture, but soon became enthralled with botany and zoology. He was a member of the Society of Sigma Psi Scientific Honor Society, and was awarded the Thomas F. Andrews Prize for undergraduate research. Fritz attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, earning a doctorate in aquatic biology and limnology in 1939.

On Sept. 1, 1937, Fritz married the love of his life, Winnie Ireland, and they were married nearly 68 years before her death in July 2005. They enjoyed traveling, photographing wildflowers and giving slide shows and published "Wildflowers of King's Valley." Of the more than 100 trips to foreign countries, Fritz's favorite trip was to Rio de Janeiro many years ago, where people were "the friendliest I'd ever met."

He was a member of the Corvallis Junior Town Club, the Town Club, the Izaak Walton League and his beloved hunting group, The Silvies Club.

Fritz's career was devoted to researching and protecting the world's aquatic environments, as Laboratory Director for the Environmental Protection Agency, receiving numerous awards including the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service to the EPA. Throughout his career, Fritz assisted many foreign governments to resolve their water pollution issues.

He was enamored with flying, signing up in 1941 during World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he became adept at acrobatic flying. His love of flying continued into his later years, and at the age of 78, using his wood working and sheet metal skills, he built and enjoyed flying his own single-seat airplane. Among the many accomplishments outside his career, Fritz raised Springer Spaniels for field trials, designed and manufactured sailboats, smokehouses, and wrote numerous books including one at age 89, "How to Shake a Dungeness Crab."

Fritz is survived by son "Fritz" Bartsch Jr. and wife, Lynn, and grandchildren Brian, Kim and husband Justin Miyake; daughter Nancy "Becky" Brown, her husband, Randy, and grandchildren Kira and Jeff.

Fritz was dearly loved by family, friends and caregivers for his positive, loving and appreciative attitude and zest for life, stating continually that he had lived the best life possible, and that he wished everyone to "Have everything good."

At Fritz's request, no service is to be held, but it's suggested that friends wishing to express remembrance consider an organization that is dedicated to wildlife or environmental protection. At a future date, arrangements will be made for friends to gather in a celebration of Fritz's long and happy life.

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