Fricsons, Gunars

FRICSONS, Gunars "Fritz"

Of Dayton, Ohio, born November 25, 1942, passed away peacefully in the late evening of January 30, 2022, with his wife of 54 years by his side.

Gunars was preceded in death by his parents, Voldemars and Minister Vera Fricsons. He is survived by his wife, Maija, his son Eriks Fricsons, his daughter Larisa Fricsons Kirgan and

son-in law, Sean Kirgan, grandchildren, Sergejs and Talis

Fricsons, Alexis and Charlie Kirgan.

Gunars was born in Liepaja, Latvia. After fleeing an occupied Latvia, he and his parents settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, amongst a Latvian community. Gunars graduated with a

degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State

University in 1965 and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration in 1967. Soon after, Gunars married Maija

Dzilums of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They moved to Dayton, Ohio, for a job opportunity at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He spent thirty-five years as a DOD civilian working as an engineer, operations research analyst, logistics manager and program manager.

Despite being an Ohio resident, his love for Michigan never waned. He especially enjoyed spending time at Lake

Michigan. He was heavily active in the Latvian community, the church camp Mezvidi, and many other aspects of keeping the Latvian culture alive in the United States. He was a member of the Latvian Fraternity "Lettonia." Once Latvia gained independence, Gunars took his family to visit, instilling a continued love for Latvia in his family. Gunars was instrumental in running the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dayton, Ohio. He was a steward for the growth of girls' soccer in the Miami Valley and spent many years coaching and refereeing. After retiring, Gunars began writing books and stories about Latvia, politics, social issues and more

Gunars was an avid sports fan to say the least. He was a lifetime fan of the Bengals, Reds, Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and of course Michigan State University. He also followed any Latvian athlete, no matter what sport. Gunars was one of the original Cincinnati Bengals fans and season ticket holders. He attended both of the Bengals Super Bowl appearances. Gunars gave a big thumbs up, and smile after watching the Bengals earn a 2022 Super Bowl berth and stated "33 years it's about time."

A small service will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the summer of 2022 at Woodlawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the American Latvian Association, Latvian Heritage Camp in the Catskills or any charity of your choice.

American Latvian Association: or by check to ALA, 400 Hurley Ave, Rockville, MD 20850.

Latvian Heritage Camp at: (select NOMETNE/CAMP from menu) or by check to: Latvian Ev Luth Church of NY, 4 Riga Lane, Melville, NY 11747-3406. Please note in the memo: Heritage Camp in Memory of Gunars