Richard Moyle Fritz, (95), passed away peacefully on January 29, 2024 in Greenwich, Connecticut. He
married his high school sweetheart, Berneice Laurene Lauber, on July 26, 1952, and celebrated sixty-six years of marriage together. After living in El Paso, TX and San Francisco, CA, the couple settled in Newton, IA where they started their family. In 1974 they relocated to Nebraska, and then to Florida in the mid-80′s where they ultimately retired. Dick and Berneice lived in Palm Harbor, FL until moving to Old Greenwich, CT in 2015.
Born on April 2, 1928, in Grinnell, IA, Richard was the son of Margaret Moyle and Samuel Clifford Fritz.
Dick grew up on the family farm north of Lynnville, graduated from Grinnell High School in 1946, and earned a BS in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University in 1951. After serving two years in Korea with the US Army, Richard built his career in commercial banking and earned advanced banking degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of Colorado.
Richard started his career in installment lending at Jasper County Savings Bank and Trust in Newton and moved into corporate marketing roles at the Hawkeye Bancorporation in Des Moines and National Bank of Commerce in Lincoln, NE. He became President and CEO of First National Bank and Trust Company of Kearney, NE in 1975, followed by First National Bank and Trust Co. of Fremont, NE in 1982. Richard held leadership roles throughout the years with both Nebraska and American Bankers Associations. He retired in 1995 after ten years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in FL and GA. Fritz was an innovator in the small, rural banking arena. He embraced and implemented new technologies, believed in a teamoriented leadership approach, and drove a customer-focused lending philosophy with his employees.
Dick believed in giving back to his community, serving on several local boards including the Good Samaritan Hospital of Kearney, NE, and General Telephone Company of the Midwest. He saw value in a thriving small business community and dedicated his time to numerous business/industrial development committees and local Chambers of Commerce. Dick also held leadership roles with civic organizations such as the United Way, Boy Scouts of America, and the YMCA, and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. Dick and Berneice enjoyed spending time with close friends - attending Cyclone, Hawkeye, and Husker football games, playing bridge, and dancing to the Big Band greats.
Most of all, Dick liked spending time with family. He will be most remembered for his love and dedication to his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dick rarely missed a swim meet, ball game or concert, and the kids could always hear his words of encouragement from the stands. Dick valued “family time” regardless of what it was … vacations at Clear Lake, Sunday afternoon trips to the farm to “walk the fields and check the cattle”, taking turns mowing the lawn, or hiking at a nearby nature preserve. Dick loved antique cars and delighted in driving around town in his 1924 Model T Touring Car.
Dick taught his kids the value of hard work, “doing things right the first time”, and taking pride in a job well done. He was a compassionate man who led by example and always found the silver lining in every situation. Dick had a soft spot in his heart for the underdog - often offering words of encouragement to those needing a little boost.
Richard is survived by his children Pamela J. Wood (Martin) of Colorado Springs, CO, Margaret “Peg” Fritz Wentworth (Barry) of Old Greenwich, CT and Richard Moyle Fritz, Jr. (Trudy) of Wellington, FL. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Michelle M. Wood, Megan S. Satchell (William), Richard M. Fritz, III “Trey” (Malinda), Kohlman J. Fritz and Kathryn “Kate” L. Wentworth.
Richard was preceded in death by his wife, Berneice, his parents and two siblings, Stanton Eugene Fritz and Barbara Louise Fritz Selzer. He is survived by one sibling, Willis Clifford Fritz (Dodie) of Frisco, TX.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 12, 2024, at Grinnell United Methodist Church located at 916 5th Ave., Grinnell, IA, with interment at Bethel Cemetery in rural Jasper County north of Lynnville, IA. Arrangements are being coordinated by Smith Funeral Home, Grinnell.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be directed to Friends of Greenwich Point and mailed in care of Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, IA 50112.