Born in Austria May 25, 1970, Stefan Fritz came to live in this country at age five. He enjoyed a happy childhood on the Key Peninsula, in Alaska and in Austria. He died in Lakebay Dec. 20, 2021.
Stefan’s summers were spent fishing in Alaska on his parents’ purse seiner and with his grandparents back in Austria where he had a large extended family. He loved the fishing life as well as hiking and skiing in the mountains of his hometown in the Alps.
He bought his own fishing boat, the F/V Hansa and later the F/V Yarrow.
Stefan loved making music with his friends and family. He forged lifelong friendships in high school and the fishing fleet where he was valued for his kind, empathetic and unfailingly upbeat attitude.
He loved joking around and his humor was refreshing. A quintessential mechanic, he could fix just about anything, be it an engine or electrical device. His calm, thoughtful demeanor contributed to his ability to focus while competing with his colleagues in commercial fishing. He fished for halibut every spring with his mother, Sissi Babich, and stepfather Günter Math, who was a best friend and colleague.
A loving father to his three children, they enjoyed their many field trips together. Stefan loved nature and could name every indigenous tree, shrub and grass on his property. Every fishing season, the children flew up to Alaska to spend time with him out on the fishing grounds.
Stefan leaves behind his wife Therise; children Yarrow, Stoyan and Ean; mother Sissi Babich; father Sigi Jochum and his wife Hegla, along with brothers Florian and Martin Jochum; stepfathers Günter Math and Randy Babich; and many relatives in Austria who loved him dearly.
A devoted father, son and a great fisherman, he was a friend to us and many others.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS