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Francis Marie Fritts-Aytes
Tahlequah Daily Press
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
February 28, 2011
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre

Services for Francis Marie Fritts-Aytes were held on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, at the Reed- Culver Chapel of Tahlequah, with Rev. Clarence Brinkley officiating. Interment followed at Park Hill Cemetery. Services were under the direction of Reed-Culver Funeral Home. Pallbearers for Marie included Denis Raschke, Randy Fritts, Jerry Stark, Jason Fritts, Scott Fritts, Eric Walker and Lynn Watkins.

Francis Marie was born on March 5, 1935, in Tahlequah, the daughter of Henry “Butch” Arvin and Gretchen (Calico) Fritts. After she completed school, she married the love of her life, Billy Aytes, in Denison, Texas, and together they enjoyed 57 years and raised four children.

The family moved to Valparaiso, Ind., in 1963, where Marie worked as a pie maker for the Strauss Pie Company. She also made life enjoyable by cooking for the boys of the Theta Chi Fraternity House.

In 2003, she moved back to Tahlequah, and built her dream house with Billy, who preceded Marie in death in 2008. She enjoyed any time spent with her husband, children, and grandchildren, especially fishing and camping.

She liked to spend the afternoon crocheting, or playing an occasional game of dominos or cards. She was still the talent in the kitchen, with her biscuits and gravy and her wonderful pies. She had a fiery spirit and a can-do attitude, and she never met a stranger. She was noted to care far more for those around her than she ever cared about herself, and it is this selfless attitude that her many friends and loved ones will truly miss.

A Christian by faith, Marie was called by her Lord and savior to her heavenly home on Feb. 22, 2011. She was 76 years old. Her sweet smile will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Billy, one son, Rex, and three brothers, Arthur, Robert, and Elmer Fritts.

She is survived by her loving three children, Ron Aytes and wife, Susan, of Tahlequah, Shawn Aytes of Tahlequah, and Richard Aytes and wife, Joellyn, of Valparaiso, Ind. She is survived by her brothers, Preston, and his wife, Pauline, of Tennessee, and Norwood and wife, Betty, of Valparaiso, Ind.; her twin sister Mamie and husband, Jim Raschke of Valparaiso, Ind.; and sister Shirley Watkins of Allen, Texas. Her legacy lives on in her five grandchildren, Austin, Ashlee, Cody, Kayla, and Colton; her special friend Amara Rose; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and loved ones.

Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551

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