Viola Josephine Ragone Fritz passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home September 5th, 2017.
Viola was born at home in Galveston on December 9, 1926 to Margarete and Harry Ragone Sr. She had a brother Harry, who she shared in antics far past childhood. Viola attended elementary school at St. Patrick’s and this church has always been dear to her. Under the guidance of Father Ruddy she and a few friends began the Patrician Club for the youth of St. Patrick’s parish. Viola then proudly graduated from Ursuline Academy where she developed a deep love and devotion for the nuns who were such an important part of her life. Her love of the Blessed Mother and the friends she made during these formative years are what still brought her joy every day. She had so many great memories of growing up in Galveston, from time spent at her family’s corner grocery store at 39th and O, to the big Italian family gatherings for lunch every Sunday.
Swimming at Murdoch’s Bath House or the Crystal Palace, playing amid the cows with her little friends at the neighborhood dairy at 47th and R and following the iceman down the street on hot summer days. Walking with her friends, going to concerts at Menard Park or putting a penny on the trolley track and getting tamales from the man with the cart. Dancing at the Marine Room on the Pleasure Pier and eating at the Turf Club afterwards. And there are so many more great stories.
Vi went to work in the office of the Santa Fe Railroad after completing business school. This is where she met the love of her life, A.J. Fritz. They married on June 27th 1954 and were happily married for 41 years before his passing. After the Santa Fe RR left town Vi and A.J. also built, owned and operated the Dairy Queen on 61st and made it feel like extended family to most who worked or ate there.
Viola has always been a kind, generous, loving, wonderful mother to not just her daughters and grandkids but to many others that call her Momma Fritz. No matter how hard the times, she stayed upbeat and provided a warm feeling of home and hope.
Viola was also a member of the Railway Business Women and of Beta Sigma Phi, Order of the Rose; receiving Diamond Circle status for 60 years of steadfast devotion of the virtues of Beta Sigma Phi. A beautiful loving group of sisters still together to this day.
Viola had spent her retirement years caring for family and friends. Then her devotion to volunteering began in ’96 after A.J.’s passing. She volunteered at several places around town. Ronald McDonald House, Moody Gardens and the Grand Opera House but her favorite was with the Sisters of Charity at Our Daily Bread for 16 years. She then joined the happy loving group of seniors and staff at Libbie’s Place where she would sing, do crafts and play a mean game of dominos. Vi felt best when she could be of service. Viola always had the Lord in her heart and a smile on her face.
Viola was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, her husband and that big Italian family of Ragone’s, Ciucci’s , and Vaiani’s.
She is survived and missed by her daughters, Maryanne Welford (John) & Peggy Sue Rogers (Jeff); her 3 adoring grandchildren, Lana and Kai Welford and Aaron Rogers; her loving nieces, Rhonda Ragone and Lisa Schweitzer; and nephew, Dr. Andrew Jackson. Also left to miss her is her steadfast friend, Vicky Marinelli, her sisters of Beta Sigma Phi, and her sweet big cat, “Mister.”
Viola’s family will receive visitors from 10:00 until 10:30 am, Saturday, September 9, at St. Patrick Catholic Church. A rosary will begin at 10:30 am, followed by funeral mass at 11:00 am. Private interment will take place at Calvary Mausoleum.
We would like to thank the ladies from Right at Home; Adell, Christina and LaToya who became a wonderful, warm part of our family and everyone at Libbie’s Place that filled her days with fun, happiness and smiles.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to Libbie’s Place Senior Day Program or Our Daily Bread or the charity of your choice.
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Time: 10:00 am - 10:30 am
A rosary at 10:30 am.
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Time: 11:00 am