Marguerite M. “Midge” Fritze Lenze

Midge LenzeMarguerite M. “Midge” Fritz Lenze, 86, of 623 Sunset Road, St. Marys, passed into eternal life on Saturday, March 21, 2015, at Pinecrest Manor, following an illness of the past month.

She was born January 27, 1929 in St. Marys, daughter of the late Floyd C. and Catherine Cheatle Herbstritt and was baptized in the Sacred Heart Church.  A lifelong resident of St. Marys, she attended Sacred Heart Grade School and was a graduate of Central Catholic High School, Class of 1947.

On June 16, 1951, she married Henry U. Fritz, who preceded her in death on January 4, 1990.  Ten years later, on September 22, 2000, she married Harold C. Lenze, and he preceded her in death on June 13, 2010.

For her business profession, her further education consisted of Penn State secretarial workshops and conferences of the National Professional Secretaries Association over a span of 30 years.  For the wide spectrum of other works and interests, her training was most often on-the-job and self-taught.

She was hired as a secretary by Speer Carbon Company in 1947 and advanced to executive secretary to the President, Andrew Kaul III, in 1960.  Upon his retirement in 1970, she served as private secretary at his home office for six years.  From 1976 to 1987, she worked in the Human Resources and Plant Personnel Departments of Airco Speer.

Her secretarial skills and other abilities took her to the St. Marys Girl Scouts, where she served as leader, trainer, and recorder for 25 years; and to the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, and other associations, each for decades of years.  An Associate of the Benedictine Sisters, she volunteered in the medical insurance office of St. Joseph Monastery from 1990 to 1996.

Midge’s involvement with the Alumni Association for the two Catholic High Schools of St. Marys, and in recent years the Elk County Catholic School System, encompassed six decades.  She held the offices of secretary and treasurer, and was on several committees including the charter group that established the Golden Grads Reunions in 1981.

A zealous Catholic, she was a member of the St. Mary’s Church, where she was a choir member since 1951 and participated on liturgy, stewardship, RCIA, vocation, and other committees over the years.  She met regularly with her faith sharing and cursillo groups.

She belonged to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas for 65 years and was treasurer and director of the Isabella Club.  She worked with the elderly of Elk Haven Nursing Home and was instrumental in organizing the Elk Haven Christmas Fund.

Keeper of numerous notebooks on her travels and other writings, she assembled many albums and scrapbooks, including the one for the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the town of St. Marys in 1966-67.

For her volunteer services and humanitarian efforts, she was selected to carry the Olympic Torch in 1996 in Erie.  Having received the youth award offered by the American Legion upon her eighth grade graduation, she was again honored by the American Legion with their award in 1997 for her many years of outstanding contributions.

She was a devoted wife and loving member to her family, and was always there for them in happy times and sad.  She considered it one of her greatest privileges to have been the “custodian mother” for her niece, Amy Fritz (Cancilla) Chavez, after the death of her parents in 1972 for six years.

She is survived by a sister, Sr. Helen Herbstritt, OSB, of Greensburg; two brothers, Roger Herbstritt and his wife Ann of Cross Junction, VA and Maurice Herbstritt and his wife Eleanor of St. Marys; a sister-in-law, Mary J. Herbstritt of St. Marys; a brother-in-law, Charles Kennedy of Allegany, NY; and by many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husbands and parents, she was preceded in death by three sisters, Ann Kennedy and Rita and Catherine Herbstritt, who died in childhood; and three brothers, Mark Herbstritt, Jim “Bud” Herbstritt, and Thomas Herbstritt.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the St. Mary’s Church on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 12:00 PM, with the Rev. Alfred Patterson, OSB, Pastor, officiating.  Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Visitation is at the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home Wednesday morning from 10:00 AM until 11:30 AM.

Memorials, if desired, may be made to the Elk County Catholic School System, Advancement Office, 600 Maurus Street, St. Marys, PA  15857, or to the St. Mary’s Church, 325 Church Street, St. Marys, PA  15857.

Diane Scutella March 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Sr. Helen, OSB,
My deepest sympathy in the loss of your dear sister Midge.
I know Our Lord welcomed her with open arms into the gates of Heaven and whispered “Well done my good & faithful servant”.
A life truly well lived!
Keeping you in thought & prayer.
Diane Scutella

Jane Olson March 24, 2015 at 6:17 am

Midge will be long remembered and sadly missed. Sincere condolences to her family from the Olson Family.

Tony & Sue Werner March 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Sr. Helen, O.S.B.
Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences in the loss of your sister. Although we did not know her personally, from her obit she was very active in the community and especially in the Catholic Church. May God receive her soul and may she rest peacefuly in her eternal reward.

Dale and Janet Forster March 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm

What a great lady! Enjoyed working with Midge at St Mary’s Church. Now she can sing alto in the heavenly choir! Thoughts and prayers for the family.

Mary Alice Fritz Cronin March 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Aunt Midge was involved in so many activities which were beneficial to others. God surely has welcomed her to heaven and named her as His “special helper angel”. My prayers are with you.
Mary Alice Fritz Cronin

Joan Smith March 25, 2015 at 9:42 am

A truly remarkable woman! She was a good & caring friend.

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