O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

A Lifetime of Service


October 4, 2018

Jo and Al Fritz

Reaching 50 years serving in a single career today reaches a notable milestone. Al Fritz has achieved that milestone.

Beginning 1968 at age 15, Al accepted a position at Lemke Foodtown under the tutelage of Dick and Helen Lemke. By 1976 Al joined forces with Lorin Brookfield and Lemke's sold to them. The grocery store became known as United Foods.

He was happy there saying, "I wouldn't trade it for anything. Over the 50 years I watched the kids grow up and their kids growing up now." He said Paullina has been very good at supporting the local grocery store and he hope it continues.

In 2015, Lorin and Al sold United Foods to Don and Laura Palmer. Al is very complimentary about the changes they have made and the work that they do at the local grocery store now known as "Prairie Market." He hopes the support continues.

At the time of the sale, Lorin retired. On October 1, Al fulfilled the 3-year contract that he signed with the Palmer's. That took him very near to another milestone. Al turns 65 on October 31. He is taking an extremely flexible position at "Babcock Locker" in Alton. Al is very excited about the new venture.

Over the last week or so, well-wishers have stopped by to both congratulate and extend good luck wishes. "I realized how many people have worked for us through the years. How long some worked here," he said.

Al and his wife, Jo, have some trips planned, but are excited to be able to visit their 3 kids and 5 grandkids more often. Their visits will take them to Garner, Iowa; San Antonio, TX and Mineral Ridge, Ohio (near Youngstown).

Al extends gratitude to the community. "Thanks to all the community for your business through the years, watching their kids grow and for everything you all have done."

Al's smile and jest will be missed.


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