Obituary: Theodore Allan Fritz June 25, 1939 – May 15, 2020

THEODORE ALLAN FRITZ June 25, 1939 – May 15, 2020

Theodore Allan Fritz of Santa Fe, NM and Newton, MA, Professor Emeritus of Boston University, passed away peacefully at home from an extended illness May 15, 2020.

He was born in Kingsport, Tennessee June 25, 1939 to Bernice (Powers) and Theodore C. Fritz.

He graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. degree in Physics and went on to earn both a Master’s Degree and PhD in Space Physics at the University of Iowa. His professional career started with a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Research Council of Canada and NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, which led to a position in the Space Environment Laboratory at NOAA in Boulder, CO.

Eleven years later, in 1982, Ted accepted a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory; then in 1992 he became a tenured professor in the Center for Space Physics at Boston University where he finished out his career until his retirement in 2015.

Ted had a larger than life personality and a quick wit. His genuine smile and distinct laugh filled a room.  He was always there for a heartfelt hug, to listen, or to offer sage advice. Kind and generous, he sent personalized postcards from his extensive travels to the children in his life inspiring wonder in far away lands.

Ted worked with international teams of scientists and engineers from NASA, NOAA, USAF, and the European Space Agency. Most of all Ted loved mentoring his many BU students. He looked with pride on their progress and delighted in the success they found in their careers. He participated in multiple spaceflight projects.

He was a dedicated member of the Lutheran Church of the Newtons, avid sports fan (Red Sox, Patriots, BU Hockey), Eagle Scout, puzzle master, model train engineer, patient dog trainer, gardener, chile relleno connoisseur, and lover of jelly beans.

Ted loved his family and he loved to travel; combining the two was the highlight of his life. He especially loved the infamous 30+ “last family vacations” with Sally and the kids.

He is survived by his wife of almost 54 years Sally “Sarah Lynn” (Schmidt); daughter Kimberly Fritz of Kirkland, WA, his grandchildren Daniel, Sophie and Evan Giacobbe; daughter Deborah Fritz of Santa Fe, NM; son Gregory (Stephanie) Fritz of Clinton, MA; brother Gerald (Betty) Fritz, of Kingsport, TN; and brothers in-law David (Susan) Schmidt and John (Allison York) Schmidt of Iowa City, IA.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and brother Rev. Donald Fritz.

Our family wishes to thank Ambercare for the compassion, kindness and care shown to us. 

Memorial services will be held at the Lutheran Church of the Newtons, Newton, MA when we have the opportunity to gather together again.

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