Fritz Plank passed away after a brief battle with cancer on September 29, 2019. Fritz was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lillian, and daughter, Paula Silva. He is survived by children Christine Broholm (Bob), Mark (Patricia) and son-in-law Joseph Silva; siblings Elsie (Albert) Kaenel, Joseph (Corinne) and Robert; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Fritz was born November 2, 1928 in Rohrbach, Austria. He emigrated from Austria to Chicago with his parents, Vincent and Pauline, at age one and lived the rest of his life on the southwest side of Chicago. He served our country in the US Army and then worked as a maintenance mechanic for over 45 years at Thompson Farms and Griffith Laboratories. Fritz met his wife Lillian through friends on his softball team, The Panthers. Even after her death in 2004, Fritz made sure he and those around him felt Grandma Lil's presence: he took up some of her crafting hobbies, always signed cards from both of them, and spent time talking to her daily. She was the love of his life, and Fritz was ready to finally reunite with her.
Although his family often teased him for being a man of routine - he ate the exact same thing for breakfast almost every day - he had an adventurous streak. He loved exploring, both in his Chicago neighborhood and along the shores of his beloved Cranberry Lake in Wisconsin - outings that were always well documented in his famous "Update" emails and with photos that were kept carefully catalogued on his computer. He would begrudgingly try out almost anything for the entertainment of his grandchildren - whether it was chartering a pirate ship on Cranberry Lake, zip-lining, or having his first taste of a burrito.
Much of Fritz's life centered around family. He hosted the annual family Christmas gathering and made sure every detail was perfect, with each decor item carefully placed in the same exact spot, year after year. Many of his most memorable family moments happened at Cranberry Lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin, where he had visited since his teens. "Pop's Paradise," his cabin, was his sanctuary and where he felt most at peace. Cranberry Lake was home to many cherished Plank Family memories: watching the sunset with Grandma Lil on the White Pier, late night pinochle sessions around the kitchen table, and teaching his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren the ins and outs of fishing. His family is grateful that much of his last summer with us was spent at Cranberry Lake, and we will treasure the lifelong memories we keep there.
On Saturday November 2 from 8:00 until 9:45 a.m. the family will receive guests at Parkside Chapels followed by a memorial mass at St. Symphorosa Church, where he was a loyal parishioner for over 50 years. It would have been his 91st birthday.
Grandpa Fritz, we will always remember you for your eternal curiosity, vigor for life, and dedication to your family.
Auf Wiedersehen - until we meet again.
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