Frederic A. "Fritz" Page
June 3, 1938 – June 7, 2019
Fritz was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Coos Bay, Ore., attended Marshfield High School and was a member of Marshfield's 3-time state champion football teams of 1954-56. After graduation he attended the University of Oregon, where he was a Sigma Chi. He married Sharon Hewett in 1958. They lived most of their lives in Portland and were married for 46 years, until Sharon passed away in 2005 after a long fight with multiple sclerosis. In 2006 Fritz attended his Marshfield HS 50th class reunion where he was reacquainted with Peggie Irvine, a classmate and widow whose deceased husband Bob had also been a Marshfield graduate. They married in 2007, and their loving and fun-filled relationship opened a whole new world for Fritz. He happily moved to the east side of Portland and embraced his new community, attending the Rose City Park Presbyterian Church with Peggie and enjoying Portland's city life. Over the years, they traveled to Europe, Arizona and the east coast; they continued to attend their high school reunions in Coos Bay together as a married couple.
Fritz had a special bond with his older brother Lefty, a standout basketball player at UO who loomed larger than life in Fritz's world. They went into the lumber business together in the '70s and set up to work in the same office with their desks facing each other. The brothers would gesture back and forth to each other while on the phone, inventing nicknames for themselves and others and always telling stories on themselves; they'd usually laugh so hard in the telling that they couldn't finish the story. Sunday nights in the Page households were always family dinners rotating between the brothers' homes. The dinners always ended around the piano, with Fritz and Lefty harmonizing and the rest of the clan following along (the mandatory first song Page kids learned was the UO fight song).
Fritz's generosity and kindness was legendary. His open-door policy meant his swimming pool and barbecue were always open—no one enjoyed the communal summer barbecues with "the neighborhood" more than he did. He spent hours mastering the perfect hand-cut French fries and potato skins, always thrilled to have everyone in the neighborhood present and eating his specialties. A favorite activity for the neighborhood kids (and later for the grandkids) was accompanying "Mr. Page" to the grocery store—his love of "junk food" was legendary and he happily accommodated special requests for the grocery cart (unless, of course, it was something that included mayonnaise). And that same generosity and connection with his kids' culinary tastes extended to his coaching. He'd show up for all his youth basketball tournaments with 6-packs of Coke and bulk packages of Hershey bars ("energy for his players," of course). If there was a need, Fritz would always show up and pitch in. After his last child graduated from Aloha High School, he stayed on as the President of the AHS Booster club, cheerfully appearing every game night to help run the snack bar. In spite of his long hours spent caretaking as Sharon's MS worsened and even after his own debilitating stroke, he continued to coach 8th grade basketball. Fritz's volunteerism moved from Aloha HS to Westview as the area grew, and he expanded his coaching duties to include his grandchildren's teams whenever he could. As his players grew from players to parents, and then to grandparents, Coach Page just kept showing up to teach the fundamentals of the game. A second stroke regretfully ended his coaching career the last year of his life.
Throughout his 81 years, Fritz Page lived each day with an unstoppable optimism, even when faced with great physical barriers. The life lessons he left behind will live on for generations. He may have left this earth but he built a huge legacy of friends and family, and his 50 years' guidance to local athletes will carry his life forward in perpetuity.
Fritz is survived by his loving wife, Peggie Irvine Page; adored brother, Howard "Lefty" Page (Frances); children, Brian Page (Jody, Kevin and Nicole, Meghan, Logan, Page and Luke Leslie and Michael, Monique, Kaleb, Donovan and Madeline), Suzy Jones (Don, Molly, Corey and Casey) and Meredith Babler (Christopher); stepchildren, Brad Irvine (Margaret, Claire and Ella), Randy Irvine (Brenda, Emily and Alison) and Kristin Irvine Arnold (Chris and Lena); as well as beloved nieces and nephews, Melissa Page Gilchrist (Scott, Lauren, Justin and Miles Keeth and Brady Gilchrist), Chris Page (Debbie and Amanda) and Heidi Page Pollock (Dean).
- Memorial Mass Saturday, June 15, 2019
- "Fritz-Style" Celebration of Life Friday, June 21, 2019
IN THE CARE OF