Tony Blake Fritz of Damascus, VA, passed away on March 15, 2022 at age 76 at Valley Health Care Center in Chilhowie, VA. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Howard Fritz and Margaret Scott Fritz, both of Damascus, and a brother, Kenneth Dale Fritz, also of Damascus. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sara Kent Fritz, and his daughter, Pamela Fritz Allen and her husband, James Gregory Allen, of Elliston, VA, as well as a brother-in-law, Hugh Withers Kent, Jr., and sister-in-law, Jacqueline Nance Kent, of Saluda, VA.
Mr. Fritz was the Western Regional Director of the Virginia Department of Social Services in Abingdon, VA, for 34 years before retiring in 2011. Previously, he was Personnel Director at Burlington Industries in Mountain City, TN. He was a 1963 graduate of Damascus High School, and attended East Tennessee State University before graduating from Steed College in Johnson City, TN, in 1968.
He was a First Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, 80th Division Basic Training Unit in Abingdon, where he served for 21 years before retiring in 1991.
Mr. Fritz and his wife, Sara, along with his brother, Kenneth, were the former proprietors of Cowboys General Store, a convenience store and deli in Damascus, from 1988 to 2014.
Mr. Fritz was very active in promoting local tourism, serving as a former Chairman of the Damascus Economic Board, as well as working with various groups and committees regarding the development and promotion of the Virginia Creeper Trail and Damascus Trail Days. He helped charter the Damascus Little League, where he volunteered as a coach for many years, and worked with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, serving as a Business Representative on behalf of the Town of Damascus.
He was an avid outdoorsman who also enjoyed watercolor painting.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 18, at 11:00 A.M. at Sunset Memorial Park in Damascus, VA. with Pastor Brian Waters officiating.
Honorary Pallbearers are John Henderson, Jack Henderson, Tommy Francisco, Don Ratclifff, Danny Waters, Tim Brown, Mike Blackburn, Eugene Neely, Bob Blevins, Steve Johnston, Bobby Sweet and Ron Richardson.
A luncheon celebrating Mr. Fritz’s life will be held in the fellowship hall of Damascus United Methodist Church immediately following the service.
Frost Funeral Home and Cremation Services is honored to serve the family of Mr. Fritz.