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Bob Fritz was born in Napa, Calif., on Thanksgiving day, 1947. He passed away peacefully last Friday in his Swansboro home surrounded by family and friends after a 25-month journey living with brain cancer. He is survived by his wife of nine years, Li Vellinga; his two adult children, Jeanine of Boulder, Colo., and Brian of Yokohama, Japan; his mother, Agnes; and brother, Ken.
After finishing college in Colorado Bob joined the Navy, where he studied nuclear science. He was a teacher and a mechanical engineer. He was granted multiple patents for the process of manufacturing thermal modules. He was a motorcycle enthusiast, an avid dive instructor and a pilot. His passion for flying landed him the position of Senior Editor at KitPlanes magazine where he chronicled his experiences working in his home machine shop and building his own kit airplane. As his Editor in Chief noted, he was a prolific writer. After taking care of his previous wife, MJ, during her struggle with breast cancer, and given his own prognosis, Bob created a guide culminating in a book, “What’s The Next Step? My journey first as a caregiver then as a caretaker,” published during the week of his passing. His story was told by the Mountain Democrat in a featured article on Jan. 3 of this year.
There will be a celebration of Bob’s life on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 1:30 p.m., at the Swansborough Vineyards, 6781 Mosquito Road in Placerville, Calif., in the community of Swansboro. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to Snowline Hospice, 6520 Pleasant Valley Road, Diamond Springs, CA 95619 or online at snowlinehospice.org.