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Sandwich World War II vet to celebrate 100th birthday Saturday

SANDWICH – Lyle Fritsch, a World War II veteran, will be celebrating his 100th birthday with an open house scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Fox Valley Community Center, 1406 Suydam Road, Sandwich.  

He grew up with his family in rural Sandwich, attended Sandy Bluff School through eighth grade and graduated from Sandwich Township High School. He then played professional baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, and soon after was called to serve in the military when the war broke out.  

He spent most of his military career as an aircraft mechanic/engineer on C-47s in the U.S. Army Air Forces. He was one of the crew members that flew many missions over Africa and Europe. He returned home in September 1945, at the conclusion of the war.

Fritsch and his wife, Eleanor, had eight children, Steve, Ed (deceased), Mary, Jim, Peggy, Pam, Rita and Joanne. They farmed in several locations in both Kendall and DeKalb counties, starting in Sandwich, moving to Somonauk and then Rollo before returning to the east edge of Sandwich near the family homestead.

He retired several years ago and remains a sports enthusiast, bowling at Idle Hour Lanes for many years, and watching and discussing football and baseball games with his many relatives and friends, who are fans of both the Chicago White Sox and Cubs, as well as fans of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.  

The conversations and jibes make “after-game” coffee gatherings both boisterous and challenging for everyone seated near Lyle’s gang, which hangs out at the south end of the McDonald’s dining room, week after week and year after year.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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