Fred Gratz, 84, of St. James passed away on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fred Gratz, 84, of St. James passed away on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at Pleasant View Good Samaritan Society in St. James. Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m., Thursday, July 19, at First Lutheran Church in St. James with Rev. Matthew Seegert and Rev. Gwen Hermanson officiating. Visitation will be Thursday at the church beginning at 11 a.m. until service time. Burial will be at Mt Hope Cemetery with full military honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard. You may send the family condolences online at Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in St. James.

Fred was born and baptized in Minneapolis and grew up in New Ulm where he was a Boy Scout and played high school basketball and football. Fred proudly served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, was sent to Korea in 1953, honorably discharged, and in 1955 Fred went home to marry his long-time sweetheart Helen Hoffman. Over nearly 67 years together, Fred and Helen raised three children and operated several businesses. Above all Fred loved his family and lived life fully. He enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting, golfing, and his many friends. Those who knew him best will forever remember how Fred liked having fun.

Holding Fred close are his wife Helen; children: Doug, Dan (Vonnie), and Sarah (Gary) Fischer; grandchildren: Kira (Seth) Winter, Erik Gratz, Micah Haler, and Aaron (Bailey) Gratz; step-grandchildren: Josh (Heidi) Bohnen-Fischer and Kya Fischer; great-grandson, Nash Winter; sisters: Alice (Harold) Neumann and Mary (Gary) More; many nieces and nephews. Fred was preceded in death by his parents Melbourne and Evelyn Gratz; parents-in-law Charlie and Myrtle Hoffman; sisters: Shirley Tomaschko, Beverly Hesse, and Patricia Salinas; brother, Donald Gratz; sisters-in-law: Nadean Johnson, JoAnn (Hagberg) Hubbard, Shirley Hoffman; brothers-in-law: Leonard Johnson, Donald Hagberg, Owen Hubbard, Charles Hesse, and Steven Salinas.