Dennis L. Fritz, age 78 of Belle Fourche, died Saturday, September 9, 2023, at St. Martin Village of the Good Samaritan Society in Rapid City, surrounded lovingly by his family. Mass of Christian Burial took place on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. A wake service was held at the church Wednesday, September 13, 2023. There was no visitation. Arrangements were with Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.
Friends can leave written condolences and view a video tribute at www.LeveringtonFH.com. Interment took place in Pine Slope Cemetery. Dennis Lyle Fritz was born February 24, 1945, in Mobridge, SD, son of Alvin and Elizabeth (Holzer) Fritz.
A difficult childhood, he lost his mother at a young age. As a result, Dennis loved the simple things in life, home cooked meals, spending time with family, and being home. His father served in the military. During that time, Dennis, his mother and two siblings lived with Grandma and Grandpa Fritz west of Trail City. After the unexpected death of their mother, Dennis and his two siblings went to live with relatives. Following that they moved to Timber Lake, Walker, and finally McIntosh. Dennis attended school in McIntosh where one of his greatest memories was helping his team advance to the 1962 Boy’s State High School Basketball tournament, a historical first for the school.
In November of 1964, Dennis was united in marriage to Karren Sanow. To this union a daughter, Karmon Kaythrne and son, James Lyle, were born. Following their marriage, they lived in McIntosh where Dennis worked at the grain elevator. Karren and infant daughter died suddenly, just four years after their marriage, in 1968. On September 18, 1970, Dennis married Gwen Erz at St. Michael Catholic Church in Watauga, SD, and they became an instant family.
A lifetime of working in the grain elevator business in Watauga, SD, Haynes, ND, Chadron, NE, eventually led him to managing the elevator in Belle Fourche before retiring from there after 34 years. At the beginning of 2023, Dennis faced serious health challenges. Through it all he lived with faith, courage, never complaining. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus, where one of his favorite things to do was flipping pancakes for the biker breakfasts each year. He also volunteered at the Compassion Cupboard. Dennis loved his family. They were always his first priority.
An avid fisherman and lover of all sports, one of his passions was to watch his kids and grandkids compete in their activities. He also loved to cook on his grill, and made a mean stuffed baked potato. He was a strong and compassionate man who endured many difficult events in life, but always maintained his positive attitude. This most likely was due to his deep Catholic faith. Second to his family, he loved his boat, camper and tinkering in the garage.
Dennis is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Gwen of Belle Fourche; daughter Karmon (Darin) Brickman of Overland Park, KS; son, James (Pam) Fritz of Winner, SD; five grandchildren, Tanner (Payton), Sydney, Nicholas, Brady and Sophie; sister Peggy (Skip) TenBroek of Bismarck, ND, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his extended family Annetta Sutton, Mary Engle, CeCe Soucy and their families; Gwen’s nine siblings and their families.
Dennis was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Karren, and infant child; brother, Gary; as well as extended family Harry and LaVerna Kittleson, Joe, Wally, and LaVonne.