Remembering State Rep. Mary Fritz: Local residents, Democrats share precious memories of a beloved, respected Connecticut legislator
State Rep. Mary Fritz, who passed away on Saturday, made an impact on all residents in her 90th District in Cheshire and Wallingford. The only special interests that were important to her were the interests and needs of all the people in her district.
Her passing has evoked memories and emotions for the many people who knew her. Below are some comments and memories from members of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) and local and state politicians who knew her. It serves as a tribute to one of the most beloved and respected legislators in Connecticut.
Check out the story at this link - http://bit.ly/29yMoJj - describing what Mary Fritz’s State Rep. tenure meant to the residents of her District and Connecticut overall.
Funeral arrangements: Mary's family will receive relatives and friends in The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 N. Main St. Ext., Wallingford CT 06492, on Wednesday (July 13), from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday (July 14) at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Fatima Church, 382 Hope Hill Road, Yalesville. Interment will be in St. John Cemetery in Wallingford. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her memory may be sent to the Mary G. Fritz Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o The Wallingford Funeral Home.
From State Senator Dante Bartolomeo (D), 13th Senate District (Cheshire, Meriden, Middletown, Middlefield)--
“The passing of Mary Fritz is a terrible loss in so many ways. My first recollection of knowing Mary (she reported that I was 11 years old, so I'll go with that) was from my days playing softball with her daughter Heather.
Decades later we reconnected when Heather (PT) and her sister Kathleen (OT) both taught my son. Mary was so proud of her daughters, and rightfully so. Every time we spoke about my son's progress and her daughters' amazing talents and dedication to him and others, Mary just lit up and softened in a way that I only saw from her when speaking about her children.
In 2012 when I decided to run for the Senate I was honored, and relieved, that Mary invited me to sit down at her kitchen table to discuss my race. That day she agreed to endorse me by hosting a campaign event, and that was the beginning of her generosity, support and guidance over the next four years.
I will treasure our conversations about connecting with our constituents on a personal level and then standing up for them without backing down. She taught that solid relationships, both with constituents and government officials, were critical to our success as legislators. Fighting for "my people" was something in which she took much pride, and something in which she was very successful.
Mary was a role model for me, and I will truly miss her.”
From Cheshire Town Councilor Peter Talbot --
“To say that Mary will be missed is an understatement. It would be difficult to measure the impact she has had on Cheshire and its citizens. She fought for us and was the driving force behind countless projects that have improved the lives of our residents. On a personal note, I have incredible respect for her 32 years of service. She was never too busy to listen or answer any questions I had. Her sage wisdom was an inspiration and I will miss her dearly.”
From CDTC chairman Ernie DiPietro --
“Mary Fritz was an outstanding legislator who always went to bat for the town. No one did a better job helping people. If you wanted to discuss an issue she always got back to you. She did a lot for the farmers in town and got them grant money. She always went to bat in Hartford for our local growers and she is the person who pushed to have Cheshire officially known as the bedding capital of the state.”
From CDTC vice chairman Judy Villa --
“Many people do not realize that Mary Fritz was a true public servant who viewed her 32 years as a State Representative as a mission to help anyone who came to her. Mary spent countless hours at her kitchen table with people seeking her advice and assistance with family problems, trusting her to find answers and agencies in local and state government that could provide for those in desperate need. Mary drafted legislation that addressed violence against women and also co-wrote and marshaled the latest law mandating the surrender of firearms to the courts in cases of protective orders. Her concern for the well-being and safety of families was only part of her dedicated service to Cheshire and Wallingford. Her legacy is that she made Connecticut a better place to live.”
From Cheshire Town Councilor Patti Flynn-Harris --
“Mary Fritz did so much for her district, for the all the residents in Cheshire and Wallingford. She helped Cheshire get the turf field, helped us get state help with the waste water treatment plant, she was a friend to the all the growers in Cheshire and the state, helped businesses and did so much more. Her biggest thing was going door-to-door when she campaigned. It was important for Mary to talk to her constituents and voters. She constantly interacted with residents in her district.”
From Jim McKenney, CDTC PR/ITT Committee member and member of the Cheshire Public Building Commission --
“I knew Mary Fritz well and she did many wonderful things for the towns of Cheshire and Wallingford, but I am sure she would most want to be remembered as someone who would help anyone in need. I know this first hand as she has helped both my mother and daughter.”
From CDTC Policy Committee member Kathy Yacavone --
“This is such sad news. She was a fighter for what she believed in. She prided herself on outstanding service to her constituents. As it was said at her retirement dinner (in June), she was a force of nature, not to be deterred from her quest.”
From CDTC Finance Committee chairman Rosalie Fountain --
“I am saddened to hear about Mary. She was a fantastic person. In 1983, my daughter was in college and sent in an absentee ballot. When I went to vote, her name was not crossed off as having voted. I questioned the checker and said what would prevent anyone from saying that she was my daughter because you did not need any identification to vote. I was told that they mark the ballots at the end of the voting day. I went to Mary and she perused the matter and had the voting list marked with absentee ballots before voting day. She also helped with other matters for me. We will all miss her. She was special.”
From CDTC Policy Committee member Martin Coburn --
“As I wrote to her family, Mary was one of my heroes since we moved here. I have never seen a representative who more truly embodied that concept. She devoted incredible energy to representing her constituents both by legislation and in every other way possible. She leaves a great void in our lives, and not only our politics.”
From CDTC Finance Committee member Lou Todisco --
“I had occasion to speak with Mary a few times, as well as to observe her career, and my view is that Mary was committed to public service, a strong advocate for Cheshire as well as Wallingford, and a family oriented person as well as a community oriented person. A good example to all of us, and a person we will miss.”
From Terry Grahame --
"Many years ago, I walked with Mary when she was running for office. We both carried a pad and pencil writing the comments and questions of the people we visited.
She was instrumental in negotiating installing the traffic light at the intersection of Route 70 (Waterbury Road). One day she called me and said meet at the corner of Marion and Route70. When I arrived, she was standing with a photographer from the Republican American. We stood in the middle of the road under the light, as the cars whizzed by us.
She would help everyone, even if you were not in her district. She was a very special person.
Dan Nowak is chairman of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's Communication Relations/IT Committee, a volunteer position. He is a Cheshire Parks and Recreation Commissioner and has been a sportswriter at the New Haven Register for 36 years.