Frederick ‘Fritz’ Rufus Dodge

Frederick “Fritz” Rufus Dodge, beloved father of Autumn, Chicory and Noah died unexpectedly, due to a severe reaction to a new aggressive chemotherapy treatment, at the age of 75 at McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey on July 9, 2018.
Fritz was born on April 3, 1943, to Rufus and Edna (Scott) Dodge. He grew up on the Centennial Tree Farm on South Straits Highway; attended school in Wolverine, graduating in 1961 and ran track in high school. He graduated in 1971 from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and science.
Fritz married Martha Jane Funk (Reitz) on April 11, 1980 (later divorced). When he and Martha were together they volunteered at the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. They shared many adventures, the memories of which still make great stories today.
Fritz was a licensed residential builder and designer from 1971 well into the millennium, specializing in custom woodworking, Timber Framing, and Appropriate Technology (see pp. 224, “Energy Saving Houses,” Alex Wade, Rodale Press, 1980). He was the first person to introduce timber frame design in Michigan and the first to build a solar house (built for Betty Bebee in Eastport). His innovative work and ideas were noted in multiple newspapers.
Fritz hosted annual “Cider Press Fests” with friends at his Toad Lake property. He adored the outdoors and nature, and fostered that same love for nature in his children -- gardening, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, and camping.
Fritz also had an insatiable quest for knowledge. He was an avid reader, a frequent patron of the Petoskey Public Library. He was also a political junky and imparted his critical, nuanced political sensibilities to his children. He enjoyed monthly attendance at Socrates Cafe in East Jordan, drawing from the books he read and current political goings-on to bring ideas for discussion. He took classes at North Central Michigan College in 2012 and 2016 to further pursue his interests.
Fritz is survived by his daughters Autumn Dodge and Chicory Lei Rolle; son, Noah Dodge; sister, Roxy Peruski; ex-wife, Martha; and his many dearest friends. Although passed, he will live on in memory as a grandfather when Chicory and her husband Jarvis welcome a baby girl, Muriel, in November 2018.
Giving back to his community was a central part of Fritz’s life. Early on he served two times in the Peace Corps in the 1960s – once in Tanzania and later in Samoa, and was among the first Peace Corps groups; he got to shake John F. Kennedy’s hand. Later he volunteered in his surrounding community. In Petoskey he was a volunteer for McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital (up until the week before he passed), Red Cross (driving a blood van and disaster relief), and Brother Dan’s Food Pantry. He also went through training to help people register for the Affordable Care Act.
Utilizing his building expertise, he headed up projects for Habitat for Humanity in multiple locations including Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and more and provided design and instruction in low-cost solar and wood heat for the rural poor in Crystal City and Austin, Texas.
Fritz contributed to his children’s pursuits for the East Jordan Thespians through set design for several musical productions. He also was a substitute teacher in Charlevoix, Boyne City, Central Lake and Ellsworth.
Fritz was cremated. A portion of his ashes will be buried in the Dodge family plot in the Wolverine Cemetery next summer when his son Noah will be able to be in attendance. Donations in his memory can be made to Habitat for Humanity.

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Mailing Address:
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Bellaire, MI 49615
Phone: 231-533-5651
Fax: 231-533-4662
 
Physical Address: 
4470 S. M-88 Hwy.
Bellaire, MI 49615

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