Alfred Ganther Jr - 89
June 17, 2022
Alfred Ray "Fritz" Ganther, Jr. , age 89, of Oshkosh, passed into eternal life on Friday evening, June 17, 2022, at The Courtyard of Oshkosh. He was born on May 31, 1933, the son of Alfred R. and Marjorie (Scofield) Ganther, Sr. , in Oshkosh, WI. Fritz graduated from Oshkosh High School at age 16 in 1950. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1955. He studied for a year at the Salzburg School of Architecture, Salzburg, Austria under the auspices of Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburg, PA, and earned his Masters of Architecture degree at Catholic University in Washington, DC in 1956. Fritz was hired in 1956 by Mills, Petticord & Mills - Architects & Engineers as a project architect. He was proud of his work as the onsite project architect for the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which became known as "Uncle Fritz's Building" to his nieces and nephews in the Washington, DC area. During his time working in DC, he met Elizabeth Marion "Betsy" Reynolds; they were married on November 29, 1958, at the Basilica of St. Mary in Old Town Alexandria, VA. In 1961 Fritz, Betsy and their first two children, moved to Oshkosh where Fritz joined the family construction business, Ben B. Ganther, Co. where worked until 1992. Between his time in Washington, DC and Oshkosh, he served as an officer in the Army Reserves/Corps of Engineers. Fritz was a Registered Architect in Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia. He devoted much time in support of the construction industry and its people, both management and labor. He served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin State Carpenters Pension Fund and its Health & Welfare Fund. He was President of the Fox River Valley Contractors Association, and served as President & Director of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, as well as the President & Director of the Fox River Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute. His involvement in the Oshkosh business community included serving as a Director of First Wisconsin National Bank, Oshkosh and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation. He was a Director of the Oshkosh Area Association of Manufacturers & Commerce as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mercy Medical Center Foundation. The importance of education was a bedrock value for Fritz, and one he strove to instill in his children. He served as President of Educare - University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the College of Education Support Group, and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lourdes Academy, which all four of his children attended. He also served as a Trustee of Marion College Foundation - Fond du Lac, WI, and Chairman of the Marion College Board of Trustees. He also was a Trustee of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese Foundation. Fritz enjoyed golfing, duck hunting, ice boating, woodworking, and wood carving. He was an avid birdwatcher, keeping binoculars always at the ready near the glass walls behind his desk. Until late in his life he was an enthusiastic gardener (and bitter enemy of the rabbits that would eat his saplings). Fritz's legacy includes commitment to family, the Oshkosh community, education, and the Catholic Church (including devotion to Our Lady and Our Lady's school - go Irish!). Daily Mass was part of his schedule from an early age and he always carried - and used - his rosary. Fritz is survived by his wife, Betsy Ganther; his children, Ben Ganther of Oshkosh; Margaret "Peggy" (Gary) Gaworski of St. Paul, MN; Jim (Melissa) Ganther of Tampa, FL; Mike Ganther of Oshkosh, WI; 18 grandchildren, John (Malinda) Ganther, Lauren (Dany) Zapata, Ben B. (Jessica) Ganther, Tim Ganther, Molly Ganther, Jonathan (Helen) Gaworski, Maddie (Sam) Howard, Meaghan Ganther, Anna (Joshua) Taubel, Teresa Ganther, Jane (Adam) Trofka, Maggie Ganther, Jacob Ganther, Evan Ganther, Bridget Ganther, Katie Ganther, Erin Ganther; and three great grandchildren, Cam Ganther, Isabela Taubel, and Philomena Taubel. Fritz was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred & Marjorie Ganther, Sr. and his sister, Marjorie Kircher. A visitation for family and friends will be held Tuesday, June 28, 2022, from 10:00 - 11:30 AM at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 435 High Avenue, Oshkosh. A funeral Mass will be held following the visitation at 11:30 AM with Fr. Jerry Pastors officiating. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery, 1901 Algoma Blvd. , Oshkosh. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Lourdes Academy, Oshkosh. The family wishes to thank the staff at The Courtyard of Oshkosh; Shannon W. , RN, and the staff of St. Croix Hospice for the end-of-life care provided to Fritz.