Robert A. Fratzke 1918-2012

Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Robert A. Fratzke, 93, of Miller, S.D., died Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 at the Good Samaritan Society, Miller.

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Funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the First Presbyterian Church, Miller with the Rev. Brian Jones officiating. Burial followed at Hillcrest Cemetery, Miller with military honors.

Robert was born December 17, 1918 at De Grey, S.D., to Charles and Myrtle (Jones) Fratzke. One of ten children, he schooled and worked his early years in the De Grey area. During the depression years he worked on projects with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Robert joined the United States Army in November 1941 and was assigned to the 73rd Engineers where he became an equipment operator on construction of the Al-Can highway. He later served in the European Theatre until March of 1945. After his tour of duty, he returned to South Dakota, where he would reside his entire life.

On February 12, 1944 he married Alice Hancock. To this union were born three children: Carl, Merle and Mary. Alice died at the early age of 44 due to cancer. Robert married Ruth Morrison in 1971.

Robert was involved in farming, ranching, logging and truck driving. After moving to Miller in 1966, he drove propane delivery trucks for Porter Gas and later Niederauer Oil Company until his retirement.

Robert was an avid fisherman and hunter, a passion he enjoyed sharing with others. Robert was fortunate to have lived in a period when a handshake was a man’s word and honor. He lived to see us transition from horse and buggies to shuttle launches to the moon.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; his three children: Carl (Glenis) Fratzke, Merle (Bobbi) Fratzke and Mary (Graham) Lawrie; Ruth’s children, David, Sylvia and Duane; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Alice; his parents-in-law; nine brothers and sisters, Bill, Vern, Ken, Elmer, Melvin, Ruth, Blanche, Mildred and Garnet; Alice’s six brothers and sisters, Warren, Lowell, Howard, Dorothy, Marian and Ethel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the First Presbyterian Church, Miller.

Reck Funeral Home of Miller has been entrusted with Bob’s arrangements. Visit

Robert A. Fratzke 1918-2012