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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 18, 2020

8/7/2020 7:29:00 AM
Robert "Rapper" Fritz

Robert "Rapper" Fritz, age 83, of Rhinelander, died on June 10, 2020, at Tomahawk's Golden Age Nursing facility. Bob was born on Dec. 6, 1936, in Chicago, the son of William and Mildred (Brown) Fritz.

Bob moved to Rhinelander with his family in 1953. He took up employment as a pin setter at Powell's Bowling Lanes under the supervision of his Uncle Al Fritz. In 1957, Rapper began his employment with St. Regis Paper Company where he was employed until his retirement in 1994. On Jan. 12, 1957, he married the love of his life, the former Sandra "Sandy" Adams, and together they enjoyed 58 years of marriage. Sandy preceded him in death on May 10, 2015.

Outside of his work, he enjoyed many interests, mainly athletic. He was a legend in Rhinelander for his abilities on the fastpitch softball diamonds. He earned his nickname "Rapper" for his ability to send a softball out and over the neighboring row of houses across from Pioneer Park. He played on many teams including Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Mint Bar. It was also at this park where he along with long-time friends John "Weaver" Carlson and Ray Warren established the Hodag Fastpitch Tournament. The tournament was a favorite yearly event for fastpitch fans and developed into tradition and a weekend filled with friends, fun, and of course, beer. In addition to Rapper's love of fastpitch softball was also an enthusiasm for playing basketball. He especially held fond memories of the infamous basketball game on April 7, 1963, when he played on the Muny All-Stars team against the Green Bay Packers Basketball team. Rapper would reminisce about the underhanded aggressiveness of Ray Nitschke, Jerry Kramer, and Fuzzy Thurston. He would vividly remember taking blows to the chops via Nitschke's flying elbows. Bob was a longtime member of the Rhinelander Country Club and was a Club Champion numerous times. He also found success in other golf tournaments where he made lifelong friends throughout the state.

Bob is survived by his daughter Susan and son-in-law Robert, son Robert Jr., grandchildren Robert, Max, Stevie and Hailey; his brothers William (Gladys) and Richard, nieces, nephews, other family and many friends. In addition to his wife he was also preceded in death by his son Stevie and his parents.

A complete notice will follow in the River News and at You may leave your private condolences for the Fritz family at The Carlson Funeral Home is serving Bob's family.

There will be a celebration of life at a later date, and Rapper's family hopes that all who knew Bob will attend to share memories and laughter of Bob's legacy.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 7, 2020
Article comment by: John Johnson

Worked with Rapper at the mill for a short time and played. Fast pitch against him for Pat Deaus. He was a good man with tremendous athletic ability. Nothing but good memories of him.. gods speed Rapper.

Posted: Friday, August 7, 2020
Article comment by: Mike Fritz

Great Tribute to Rapper, Susan! He will be missed, he was a great man! RIP Rap!

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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