Mavis Elaine Fritsch, 60

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mavis Elaine Fritsch, 60, of Austin, died Sunday May 15, 2011, at Austin Medical Center after a courageous 2.5-year battle with cancer.

Mavis Fritsch

She was born May 24, 1950, to George and Maxine (McAdams) Thiede in Austin, where she grew up and attended school. She was a runner-up to Miss Austin in 1967. After graduating from Austin High School in 1968, Mavis attended Austin State Junior College. In 1970, Mavis transferred to the University of Minnesota, Duluth to continue her education. She graduated Cum Laude in 1972 with a degree in psychology. During the summer of 1972, Mavis traveled to Europe and worked as a housekeeper for the Spanish athletes at the Munich Olympic games. On May 12, 1972, Mavis married Donald Lenz. They made their home in Austin and raised three children, Laura, Jana, and Matthew. In 1979, they purchased Lenz’s Rose Creek Market and sold it in 1988. Mavis began working for Mower County Human Services, first as a financial worker, and ending her career with her dream job of social worker. On Oct. 25, 2003, Mavis married David Fritsch. Her marriage to David included some of the happiest years of her life. Mavis was passionate about her work with the developmentally disabled and she loved her co-workers. In December 2008, Mavis was diagnosed with cancer. She continued to work full time and never once let her personal struggle affect the integrity of her job or her work ethic. In March 2011, Mavis received the Minnesota Social Services Association Outstanding Staff Achievement Award. She retired on Feb. 28, 2011, to care for herself. From childhood on, Mavis was an avid music lover. She was a phenomenal percussionist and played with the Austin Symphony, Spamettes, Austin Community Band, and the Riverland Community College pit orchestra. Mavis touched so many people and so many lives. She loved being a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, serving in various offices and on many different committees. Mavis performed missionary work and traveled to Hungary two separate occasions. She was always looking out for those in need. In her spare time, Mavis would watch movies, read, knit, sew, bake or “rebating.” Her rebate money paid for several vacations and gave her spending money over the years. Every year Mavis would take an annual shopping trip with her girls - Monica, Debbie, Linda, and Colleen. Mavis was a die-hard Elvis fan, even making the pilgrimage to Graceland. She loved her life and the people in it. She always made everyone feel like they mattered, and she will be missed beyond words.

Survivors include her beloved husband, David Fritsch; two daughters, Laura (Charles) Speltz and Jana Lenz, of Austin; son, Matthew Lenz of Red Wing; stepchildren, Jennifer Warner of St. Charles, Brad (Joan) Fritsch of Toledo, Ohio; three grandchildren, Jacob, Jayden, and Ariel; 12 step-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; sister, Marlys (Darwin Peterson) Thiede of Ham Lake; and niece Taylor Peterson, also of Ham Lake. She was proceeded in death by her parents.

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Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 19, at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Reverend Michael Olmsted officiating. Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Worlein Funeral Home, Austin, and at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment is at Oakwood Cemetery, Austin. The family prefers memorials to Westminster Presbyterian Church or Mower County Humane Society or Austin Symphony Orchestra. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at