A memorial service for Harold August Fratzke, 93 of Cottonwood, MN will take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at English Lutheran Church in Cottonwood, MN beginning at 2:00p.m. A public visitation will be held at Horvath Remembrance Center in Marshall, MN on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 from 4:00p.m. – 6:00p.m. Visitation will continue on Thursday at church one hour prior to the service. Burial will take place at the English Lutheran Cemetery in Cottonwood, MN following the memorial service.
Harold was born November 14, 1929 to Edward and Clara (Zemple) Fratzke in Cottonwood, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at English Lutheran Church in Cottonwood and attended school there as well. In 1948 he married the love of his life, Lois Jeseritz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wood Lake, MN. To this union four sons were born, Steven, Barry, Keith and Kent.
The greatest joys in his life were farming, being out in nature, inventing, cycling, and spending time with his family. Harold was always concerned that his fields and farm site looked immaculate. He never passed up a chance to drive around the countryside looking at fields and enjoying nature.
Harold always loved tinkering in his shop where his creativity came to the forefront as he thought of new ways to make farming easier and more efficient. He also enjoyed inventing and/or improving upon recreational equipment, such as bicycles. He regularly attended the Minnesota Inventors Congress in Redwood Falls, MN where he won many prizes and trophies. In 1994 he was inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame and was featured on the cover of the February 1999 Successful Farming magazine.
Harold loved motorcycles from a young boy through adulthood. He and Lois often dated on his motorcycle, and later they took many cycle trips around the country and especially enjoyed Glacier National Park.
Family camping trips were always special, especially to Yellow Medicine River where we enjoyed fishing and appreciating nature. Harold’s zest for life was evident whether it be telling or laughing at jokes and treating others with small gifts to cheer them.
Harold died on Thursday, June 16, 2023 at Prairie Home Fieldcrest in Cottonwood, MN.
He is survived by his children Steven (Per) Fratzke of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Barry (Marsha) Fratzke of Coldspring, MN, Keith (Joe) Fratzke of Guerneville, CA, Kent (Lisa) Fratzke of Cottonwood; grandchildren Luke Fratzke, Amanda (Dusty) Harris, Tara (Eric) Thielbar, Dana (Andrew) Mack, Anthony (Kelsey) Fratzke; great-grandchildren Madalynn, Rogan, Grace, Paige, Aubrey, Mason, Marley, Archer; brother Charles (Donna) Fratzke, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Harold is preceded in death by his wife Lois, his parents, and his sisters Phyllis and Dorothy.