Francis D.(Fritz) Donlin, 55, of Merrill, died Wednesday July 5, 2006 at his home following an illness due to cancer.
Fritz Donlin was born Nov. 12, 1950, in Le Mars, the son of Joseph E. and Gertrude C. (Hoffman) Donlin of Merrill. He was raised on a farm east of Merrill and attended Gehlen Catholic Schools, graduating in 1969.
He joined the U.S. Navy Reserves in his senior year. He served his country in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1971. He moved to Omaha, Neb., in the fall of 1971 and attended UNO for 2 1/2 years. He married Mary Lou Wurth on Dec. 2, 1972.
He worked for Davidson's Furniture where he learned to refinish and touch up furniture. He moved back to Le Mars in 1978 and was employed by Westmar College in maintenance. He opened a refinishing business in Le Mars and another shop in Sioux City. In 1988, he was employed by Kolbeck Hay Inc. as a truck driver until his battle with cancer forced him to retire in February of this year.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Mary Lou; his son, Robert and wife Kim of Sioux Center; daughter Crystal McMillan and husband Cory of Le Mars; son Michael, a junior at Le Mars Community Schools in Le Mars; two grandchildren, Kyle, 13 and Rachel, 9 of Sioux Center; a sister Joan M. and Dennis Guinane of Glenwood; brother John F. Donlin of Le Mars; and sister-in-law Betty Donlin of Monroe, Wis. Extended family members include his father-in-law, Louis Wurth of Le Mars; and many brother and sisters-in-law: Janice Wurth of Le Mars, Cathy and Lonnie Gusa of Sioux City, John and Kathleen Wurth of Spring Grove, Ill., Ted and Jeri Wurth of Green Bay, Wis., Nick Wurth of Le Mars, Theresa Wurth of Spencer, Jean and Joe Ryba of Seney, Ann Mosher of Le Mars, Lisa and Don Claeys of Sioux City, and Barb Niehus of Le Mars and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Gertrude Donlin, a brother Larry J., sister Mary Ann, brother-in-law Jerry Wurth and niece Angela Wurth.
Pallbearers will be Kelly Wurth, Brad Wurth, Jake Ryba, Dustin Claeys, Matt Claeys, Brian Claeys, Zach Wurth, and Ross Mosher.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars. Burial will be at Assumption Catholic Cemetery in Merrill. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. today (Friday) with a prayer service and rosary at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Visitation will resume Saturday morning one hour prior to the funeral.