February 2, 1929 - August 12, 2010
Frank (Fritz) Elia of Walla Walla passed away on August 12, 2010 near his home on Chestnut Street. He was born on February 2, 1929 to Joseph and Clara (Spanish) Elia, Italian emigrants who settled in the Walla Walla Valley in the early 1900's. He was a lifelong member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
Fritz attended and graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1947. He was a Veteran of the Korean War. He served as a military policeman in the United States Air Force, and was stationed on Guam, among his other posts. He married Bernice Talarico on September 15, 1957 and they were married for 53 years. She was his one true love, and we are convinced that he died of a broken heart 26 days after she passed away in July.
They raised two children, Michael and Susan. He worked earnestly in a number of professions, including manager at Associated Grocers, vault teller at Baker Boyer Bank for 19 years, and Pontarolo's Office Supply where he retired at the age of 80. He was trustworthy and reliable, and delighted in the people he met every day.Fritz was a kind and gentle man. He and his wife Bernice moved into their home 53 years ago when they were married, and have been the center of their family and neighborhood ever since.
Their "family" included all of Fritz's many brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, their relatives, children, friends and neighbors; everyone was welcome to stop by for a visit, a meal or a treat. Fritz truly committed random acts of kindness throughout his lifetime, and we will remember him for his quiet wisdom and grace. He was a passionate booster of DeSales High School, a member and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus since 1948, and volunteered to serve on so many committees for the school and community.
Fritz is survived by his children Michael (and Maureen) Elia of Boise, Idaho, and Susan (and Brian) Gosline of Spokane, Washington; her grandchildren K.C., Natalie and Anthony Gosline, and Noah, Daniel, and Joseph Elia; his sisters Mary Gunberg, Emma Dienhart, and Arlene Lesko, his brother Joseph, his brothers and sisters in law Elveda Elia, Walt Dienhart, Betty Elia, Beatrice Elia, John Lesko, and Cindy Talarico Arnesen; his nieces and nephews, and the many relatives from the Elia, Ponti and Talarico families.He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Bernice Marie Elia; and his brothers and sisters Dominic Elia, Rose Ruscio, Angie Stinnett, Jennie Peterson Lamb, and Bennie Elia.
There will be a Rosary at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010. Viewing & visitation will begin on Tuesday, 12:00 pm on August 17, through the Rosary. The Funeral Mass will be at 9:30 am on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at St. Francis Catholic Church, by Fr. Tim Hays, Celebrant. Burial will follow the Mass at Mountain View Cemetery, and a reception will be held in the St. Francis Hall to celebrate his life.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Fritz's charities, Walla Walla Catholic Schools or St. Francis Church through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.