Paul Dixon Fritz
July 20,1941 – July 10,2011
Paul D. Fritz, a prominent attorney in the tri-counties and Los Angeles areas for 38 years, past USCGR Lt., avid shotgun shooter, world traveler, and a fabulous father, died peacefully on Sunday, July 10th, 2011 surrounded by his family.
Paul was born in Los Angeles on July 20th, 1941 to Paul John Fritz and Rosemary Weaver Fritz, graduating from University High School in 1959. That same year, he took his first trip to Hawaii, traveling on a tramp steamer. This adventure ignited his love of Hawaii, where he would take his wife on their honeymoon and his whole family many times in later years. He went on to receive his BA in History from UCLA in 1964.
From September 1965 to 1969, Paul was on active duty in the US Coast Guard. During his active duty, he served as Captain of the Port in Honolulu. He completed his USCGR duty in June 1976 when he was honorably discharged.
He married his wife of 40 years, Carol Rossi, in 1970 in San Diego, having met her at a bachelor officers dance at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot there in 1969. The couple lived in West Los Angeles while Paul attended and graduated from Loyola Law School in 1972. During these years, Carol and Paul took 2 adventurous summer camping trips in their 1968 VW bus which Paul had made into a camper to British Columbia and the to the East Coast.
He and Carol decided to go gallivanting through Europe before having their first child in January, 1974. They had a fun 6-week camping trip throughout the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. Upon returning stateside, they settled in Santa Barbara where Paul had joined the law firm of Archbald, Zelezny, and Spray, where he later became a partner.
His daughter, Kate, was born in 1974 and his son, Steven, in 1980. Paul was a playful, fun, and imaginative Dad and was well loved by his kids! He always considered himself just a big kid. When Steven was young, Paul was the first dad to participate in teaching Post Partum Education for Parents (PEP) “Baby Basics” classes. His role was to bathe the babies and give fatherly advice to expectant parents, encouraging dads to feel comfortable in caring for their new babies. After 12 years of doing these classes, he wrote a paper called, “One Dad’s Thoughts”, which shared his reflections on raising children.
In 1981 he took his family for a 3-month trip to the South Pacific while taking a sabbatical from his law firm. Their itinerary included stays in Hawaii, Rarotonga, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and Tahiti. Paul always loved traveling, and in future years he would visit the Republic of Belau Island, Kwajalein, Yap, and Truk, getting to fulfill his desire to visit friends on Kwajalein and go SCUBA diving in Truk Lagoon. He also had the opportunity to visit Japan when his daughter was there in her twenties teaching English in a private school.
In 1986, Paul left the law firm of Archbald and Spray and started his own business, Creative Dispute Resolution. This was the first time that an attorney had started a business offering mediations, settlement conferences, and arbitrations, a service that had previously been offered only by retired judges.
He was a member of many professional organizations, among them: California State Bar Association; American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); and Master, Inns of Court Chapters in Santa Barbara and Ventura. He was also a member and past Commander of the George C. Woolsey Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW), a patriotic, non-partisan organization founded in 1919.
A memorial Mass will be held in his honor at St. Raphael Church on Monday, July 25th, at 10am. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the St. Raphael Scholarship Foundation, 160 St. Joseph’s St., Santa Barbara, CA 93111.