Paul G. Fritts, Sr., left this earth on Friday, December 22, 2017 at 3:45 a.m., after an extended struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Paul was born October 19, 1937 in Marion, KY and was the youngest child of Rev. Robert Fritts and Dolpha Ford Fritts.
Paul graduated from East Alton Wood River High School in 1955, where he had played football on the school's only undefeated team in 1953. He was inducted into the Wood River Hall of Fame for his many professional accomplishments in 2011. He attended Wichita State University on a football scholarship, where he played and then graduated in 1959. He was later selected by the University to be recognized as a "Graduate of Distinction". While attending college, Paul served on the Arkansas City, KS Police force.
Following graduation, Paul went to work for his first and last professional employer, The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he rose to the rank of "Executive Director". In his final office near the White House, he engaged the Senate Banking Committee on key U.S. banking issues during the savings and loan crisis, but was also known internationally for his work as a voting member on the Basel Committee on banking regulations. Paul retired from the FDIC in 1993 and moved back to his Madison County, IL roots, where he founded a small bank consulting business. In this role, he was a consultant to banks in St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles. He also traveled to Pakistan and counseled the Pakistan government in their efforts to create a bank insurance system similar to that of the U.S.
He enjoyed extensive travel through the U.S. and the world. His professional work truly was the passion of his life, but, he also enjoyed simple times with his family, following the financial markets closely, Rod Stewart, wintering in Florida and following his beloved Wichita State Shockers basketball team. Paul was a member of the East Alton Wood River High School Hall of Fame, Wichita State Hall of Distinction, Sons of the American Legion and Wood River Moose Lodge #1349.
Paul is survived by his wife, Martha; sons, Paul, Jr., and Jeff; step-children, Jeff, James and Rhonda; five grandchildren; and older brother, Bob.
His parents; daughter, Suzanne McNeely Fritts; brother, Douglas Fritts; and sister, Bonnie Nunn preceded in death.
Visitation will be from noon until time of service at 2 p.m. Thursday at Marks Mortuary in Wood River. David Sever will officiate.
Private burial will follow in Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto.
Memorials may be made to the Madison County Animal Shelter.