Fritz Fankhauser, 79, of Arcadia, Wisconsin went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, March 13th, 2022, after an 18-month battle with cancer.
Fritz was born on a small family farm outside of Bern, Switzerland to Fritz & Anna (Schweitzer) Fankhauser. During his youth he worked on his family farm and spent his summers working on his grandparent's farm. After graduation he began work as a farm apprentice for a family in Switzerland, and later Italy, learning the French & Italian languages in addition to German and English. Fritz then enrolled in the Swiss Armed Forces where he was continuously recognized for his keen eye and accuracy.
In 1962, after being discharged from the Swiss Armed Forces, he answered an ad from a farmer in Waumandee, WI looking for a strong and hardworking young lad willing to come to America for work. He then boarded a boat, and for seven days endured rough seas crossing the Atlantic to see what America was all about. When asked about this experience, Fritz bluntly stated, "Someone had to feed the fish".
After working as a farm hand, he then broadened his horizons combining fields in North Dakota then on a crab boat & factory in Alaska before settling back in the Waumandee area. It was at the Montana Methodist Church in 1968 where he met his future wife, Gloria, and worked on her parents', Edward & Jeanette Senty, farm in addition to continuing to help numerous farm families in the area.
In 1970 the couple married & moved to Fountain City, WI while Fritz worked for JC Penney in Winona, MN as an auto mechanic. In 1979 they were able to purchase a farm outside of Arcadia, WI where Fritz began his dream of farming his own land. Fritz loved his land, his animals, and the community of farmers in their small valley.
From this union came 4 children: Chad (Phyllis), John (Sue Ellen), Ericka (Leroy) Sobotta, and Michele (Toby) Rugotzke; 13 grandchildren Nathan, Miranda, CJ, Kaden, Hunter, Kendra, Kylie, Matilda, Audreya, Fritz, Brogan, Jurgen, Larkyn; and 2 Great-Grandchildren: Owyn and Xavier.
Fritz is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings: Vreni (Res) Von Gunten, of Ontario, Canada; Hans (Ida)Fankhauser, of British Columbia, Canada; Lisabeth (Eugen) Gautchi, of Switzerland; Rudolph Fankhauser, of Switzerland; and Rosemarie (Res) Wuthrich-Fankhauser, of Switzerland; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Fritz & Anna, and in-law's Edward & Jeanette.
The family of Fritz invites all who knew him to a Celebration of Life at the Arcadia Country Club on Sunday, March 20th starting at 1 o'clock p.m. A private burial will take place at a later date. To express condolences to his family online, please visit www.wozneykillianfh.com.