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Winfred "Fritz" Riley

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Elder Fritz Riley passed away in Columus Ohio on January 25, 2009. Services were held January 30 at the Bock Funeral Home in Wexford Pa with the Rev Jack Moriarty presiding. The following Proclamation was issued by the Session, as is the custom when an elder of the church passes: This is a proclamation of the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of East Brady, Pennsylvania: let all who hear it believe its message. It is with Christian joy and human sadness that we mark the calling to God of our friend, elder Winifred “Fritz” Riley. A charming woman of wit and wisdom, she was ever willing to serve her congregation and her God. Fritz had a joy that was never diminished, regardless of health problems, day-to-day family concerns and the pesky details of keeping up with the house and lawn. In everything, Fritz was true. She was true to herself: she admitted her shortcomings, used her talents and offered her wisdom to those who asked. She was true to her friends and family: her priorities were never for herself, but for others. She was true to her God: no matter where she was, no matter what limitations she experienced, she prayed and participated in the life of the church as she was able. Fritz had many interests: genealogy, history, sewing, knitting and gardening were among the many. She also loved to watch the Allegheny flow by, and enjoyed the birds and animals that it fostered. Fritz was devoted to mission. She was a faithful Presbyterian Woman, and supported its projects. Over the years, Fritz knit hundreds of pairs of mittens for our Tree of Warmth. A generation of local elementary students had warm hands through her efforts. The layette project for South Dakota Reservation families had her knitting blankets, caps and booties. Every special project brought a gift from Fritz - her legacy of mission will long stay with this congregation. In addition to her other tasks, Fritz was a dedicated member of the Adult Choir for as long as her health allowed. Her pure, sweet soprano rang out in anthems and solos that delighted the congregation and helped to make our worship special. She was also a great letter-writer. Although she traveled widely, spent winters in Florida for many years, and lived the last of her life in Ohio, we never felt that far from Fritz, because the mail would arrive, and a note from Fritz was sure to raise your spirits! But ultimately, what we will remember about Fritz is the faith she held in God. No matter what happened, Fritz turned to her Lord for strength, with unshakable faith that was an inspiration. And now, as she has been taken home to God, we know that she has heard, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. “
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