Bobby Joe Fritz, Sr., 89, a native of Alamogordo passed away on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 peacefully at his residence. He was on born January 15, 1932 in Alamogordo, New Mexico to George and Lula Mae (James) Fritz.
Bobby’s father and grandmother moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico from Louisiana. Growing up, Bobby was always a well-rounded athlete having participated in a wide range of sports. He excelled in track, baseball, basketball, and football. His interest in baseball led him to play for the Alamogordo Black Sox winning the Otero County Baseball League title in 1947.
He attended the Delaware School for “Negro” children in Alamogordo, now known as Corinth Baptist Church. The Delaware School did not offer school sports. An executive order and a teen who just wanted to play football resulted in the integration of the Alamogordo Public Schools. Bobby was granted a transfer to the Alamogordo High School in 1949, being the first African American student at the high school. He lettered in football, track, and baseball. He graduated from Alamogordo High School in 1951.
Being Alamogordo High School’s star athlete, he signed up for training with the Cleveland Indians in 1952. He saw three days of play in the Dallas trials. He was accepted at the shortstop position and signed a contract for training. Bobby’s starting salary would have been $150.00 per month, with a wide-open future.
Bobby Joe was drafted into the United States Marine Corps in May 1952 in San Diego, California. After basic training, he was assigned duty at Camp Lejune, North Carolina with the Second Marines, an infantry regiment of the Second Marine Division. Private 1st Class Fritz completed the course given at the Engineering School Battalion that was prescribed by the Commandant of the Marine Corps for Engineer of Equipment Mechanics.
He returned to Alamogordo following his Marine Corps Military enlistment. He enjoyed being an Otero County umpire for boys’ baseball and girls’ softball games for numerous years. Bobby retired from a long career from the Civil Engineering Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico in 1991.
Bobby met the love of his life, Thereatha Lillian Adams Fritz, and was united in Holy Matrimony on November 26, 1965. The Lord blessed them with two lovely children, Bobby Joe Jr., and Thereatha Alicia. After thirty-five years of marriage, his beloved wife passed away on December 13, 2000.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Lula Mae Fritz; his wife, Thereatha Fritz; sons, Bobby Joe Fritz, Jr., Donald Bolin; brothers, George Fritz, Jr., Delano Blanks, William Blanks, Ernest Fritz, Lawrence Fritz; sister, Marie Loud.
Bobby Joe leaves to cherish his fond memories: his daughter, Thereatha Alicia Fritz of Alamogordo, NM; son, Lary Bolin (Geanell) of Beaumont, TX; one sister, Beatrice Everage of Albuquerque, NM; and a host of nephews and nieces, and other relatives and friends.
The funeral services for Bobby Joe Fritz, Sr. will be held at 12:00 pm on Saturday, July 3, 2021 at the Alamogordo Funeral Home with Pastor Willard L. Avery of New Zion Baptist Church officiating.
Burial will be held on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at the Monte Vista Cemetery
The Fritz’s family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.
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