Hold on Tightly and Never, Ever Let Go

When I remember the important people in my life, the one’s who have a special spot in my head and in my heart, I get flashes of pictures. Some still, some moving, most captured by my memory, some by a camera but all images that I hold onto tightly and never, ever want to let go.

This is my dad. This is one of the still pictures in my head; in my heart.

dad smiling

After nearly 81 years of a very well lived life, David J. Fritsch, Jr. of Vernon and the world, left his earthly loves behind on March 10, 2015.

The foundation of his adventurous soul was set in West Hartford as the second child of David and Helen Fritsch. With his siblings Beverly, James Fritsch, and Mary Rose Crawford Dave spent his childhood summers at Highland Lake in Winsted where love number one (if only in chronological order) of boats was born.

After graduating Hall High School class of ‘52 Dave’s wandering spirit led him into the Army where he was stationed in Japan and Korea. Upon his return, Dave earned a degree from the Ward Institute of Technology.

Dave was a computer geek long before computer geeks were cool.  During his 20+ year tenure at the Travelers Insurance Company, Dave worked in various positions in the Data Processing Department. While there, love number two emerged when he met his wife of 52 years, Jamie, at a party. After a curiously long courtship which included a great deal of time as a member and officer of The Hartford Sports Car Club, they were married, set up house in Ashford, CT and filled their family with three children in rapid succession–Susan, David and Stephen.

Dave assisted Jamie in establishing The Costume Shop in Manchester where they successfully merged marriage and business by working together…separately. Each oversaw a different area of the business.

Dave was an accomplished carpenter, but the siren call of the sea filled most family time. A devout sailor (and licensed Sea Captain) with his family crew (who, after a seasonal shake-down cruise was a well oiled machine) spent quite a bit of time sailing the New England waters in a succession of ever-larger sailboats: Antithesis, Spirit, Grass Hill, and Kvack. The last vessel he captained as the Official Connecticut Representative in the America 500 cruising yacht voyage.

Once retirement was upon them, Dave and Jamie lived the dream of many, but the realization of few: live-aboards cruising the world on a final boat, Kwakatu. Dave’s adventures defined his third life love. With a big smile on his face he would share tales of the many stops on his journey and add, “I could live there.”

His love of sailing was so strong that his grandchildren, Sean, Emily, Rebekah, Luke and Noah called him Skipper Dave.

Boats, his family and adventure: the three life loves of David Fritsch. It is with a heavy heart and beautiful memories his family, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends say good-bye.

Funeral services Saturday at Tierney Funeral Home, Manchester Connecticut.

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3 thoughts on “Hold on Tightly and Never, Ever Let Go

  1. *****HUGS!!!***** I am so sorry for your loss! I wish I could pass on to you the thing that got me through my own father’s loss almost 18 years ago. A coworker had given me a little halloween keychain fob that screamed when you pressed its button; I reckon you could seriously use that right now!

  2. Hello Jamie, David’s family and friends. Dorothy and I met David and Jamie while we and they were building our dreams (Kwakatu and our DavidEllis). We four shared many adventures, laughs and frustrations together at the boatyard in China, in Hong Kong, Macau and Beijing. We buddy-boated on the maiden voyages of our new homes from Hong Kong down to Subic, Philippines. The following year, we ran down though the Philippine Islands with David and Kwakatu until he left us to begin his Pacific crossing. We continued our adventure in SE Asia, while Kwakatu moved her venue to the Western Hemisphere. Two years ago, I followed David’s route across the mid-Pacific, moving a friends boat from Hong Kong to the US. And, I thought of David and Kwakatu every step of the way.
    This past summer, we saw Kwakatu (with a new name) in Alaska. I’m afraid we made the new owners very uncomfortable when we visited aboard their boat, but could talk of nothing except David & Jamie this and that….
    I’m so grateful to have had David Fritsch in my life. I wish you all good memories of David.

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