Frances Estelle Hitz, 95, left this world on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at her home on the family farm near Bremen.
Frances was born Nov. 2, 1916, to William and Frances (Dusek) Hartl, the seventh of eight children, and grew up on the family farm in Bremen Township, Wells County. She attended Bremen country grade school and graduated high school at New Rockford Central in 1934. Frances worked one year after high school before attending Valley City State Teachers College and graduated with a teacher's certificate in 1937. After college, Frances taught at Bremen, Germantown and New Rockford Consolidated schools.
In the spring of 1944, she enlisted in the Marine Corps, and was one of the first women to serve in the Marines. She was stationed at Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas, then at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where she served as head librarian and motion picture technician until her honorable discharge at the end of the war. She was always very proud of her service to her country as a United States Marine.
She married her hometown sweetheart, Frank J. Hitz, on Aug. 23, 1943, in Pomona, Calif., where Frank was stationed with the Army before going overseas to the European Theater.
In 1945, they returned to the Hitz farm at Bremen to begin farming and raising their nine children and a grandson, Jason LaFontaine. They also took in a foster child, John Cavalier, for two years.
Frances was active in her parish, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, at Bremen, where she was choir director for many years and active in her church circle group.
She enjoyed gardening, reading, spirited discussions on almost any topic and traveling. One of the highlights of her travel experience was a trip back to her native land of Czechoslovakia with her daughter and brother in 1989, where she reconnected with family and family history and where she enjoyed conversing in her first language, Czech.
Ultimately, though, her most important purpose in life was her family's well-being and fulfillment.
She is survived by: six daughters, Melanie (Joe) Darville, Freeport, Bahamas, Gail Marie, Rogers, Minn., Dianne Goebel, New Rockford, Miriam (Marvin) Aardahl, Saugas, Calif., Agnes (Vern) Olson, Fargo, Jeanine Irmen, Galt, Calif.; two sons, John (Sharlena) Hitz, New Rockford, and Billy Hitz, Plymouth, Minn.; eight grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Frances was preceded in death by: her husband of 47 years, Frank; a daughter, Francine LaFontaine; her parents; three brothers, Edmund, Albert and William; four sisters, Henrietta Toay, Agnes Hartl, Georgie Walters and Hermina Lies; and a great-grandson, Lane LaFontaine.
Funeral: Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 10:30 a.m. in St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford.
Burial: St. Joseph's Catholic Church Cemetery, Bremen.
Prayer service: Tuesday at 7 p.m. in St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford.
Visitation: Today, Monday, from 1 to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford.
Online condolences may be sent at (www.EvansFuneralHomeND.com).