Boats 03

Frederick "Fritz" Homans

September 25, 1957 ~ June 16, 2022 (age 64)

Obituary

Frederick West “Fritz” Homans passed away on June 16, 2022, after a brief but determined battle with advanced pancreatic cancer. Fritz was born in Bangor, Maine on September 25, 1957, to Harrison and Margaret Thompson Homans.

Fritz arrived in this world with a twinkle in his eye, an abundance of charm, and a penchant for mischief, adventure and a good time.  Those qualities enhanced his life and the lives of those around him.  Fritz entered a room with his trademark grin and legendary wit, and every gathering with him in attendance became a party. A gifted mimic and comic, Fritz was accompanied everywhere he went with the host of characters he voiced with effortless riffs in perfect dialects, alternately to the delight and annoyance of his family. From a young age, Fritz was a loyal and kind friend and maintained lifelong relationships with classmates, teammates, coaches, colleagues, musicians and others with whom he developed a bond over the course of his life. Fritz was also incredibly generous, especially to his parents for whom he arranged numerous trips, including many ski trips to Austria and Vail.  In 2015, he escorted his parents, both in their 80s at the time, on a last trip to Europe where they walked the streets of Paris in the wee hours of the morning and visited Normandy where Fritz shared his knowledge of WWII gained over a lifetime of interest. He was similarly generous to his children, other family members and friends over the years.

Without question, Fritz’s greatest joy was his children, Hannah and Harry, whom he raised as a single parent. Fritz shared his love of swimming, music and travel with them and together “Team Homans” logged countless miles to swim practices and meets, explored Penobscot Bay by boat, and traversed Europe for weeks at a time. An accomplished equestrian, he and Hannah also participated in events together, in both the U.S. and Ireland. As recently as this winter, Fritz could be found in the stands at University of Southern California swim meets, cheering Harry on.  Fritz’s pride in his children had no limits.

Fritz spent his professional career in corporate sales, specializing in government contracts, working primarily in Europe. He retired in his early 50s as a VP of sales and marketing. Fritz’s fun-loving personality and taste for adventure were particularly useful when he arrived in Germany to start his first job after college. Despite not knowing anyone and having retained no useful knowledge of any language course he ever took, Fritz quickly made friendships and learned enough German to navigate any situation, including talking himself out of a pinch with East German border guards.  In a life filled with good times, Fritz’s years living and working in Europe were some of the highlights. 

Although he traveled extensively, one of Fritz’s favorite places in the world was Penobscot Bay.  As a young boy, Fritz steered his red wooden dinghy with a 3hp motor back and forth across the cove where he summered with his family.  His fervent desire was to be allowed to motor to Bayside, a nearby village, but permission was always denied as it was out of sight of his parents.  The one day that Fritz made that trip, he was met at the Bayside dock by his father, and the return trip was immediate.  Years later, Fritz made his way to Bayside where he bought a home and provided his children with an idyllic place to spend their summers.  He moved to Bayside year-round in 2019, and after his diagnosis it was his desire to spend his last days at home.  That wish was granted, and Fritz passed away at dawn, his favorite time of day, as the sun rose over an otherwise perfect summer day. 

A gifted athlete, Fritz participated in the sport of swimming for more than 50 years. In addition to being a fierce competitor in the water, Fritz gave back to the sport as a coach, meet announcer, board director and parent. A graduate of Deerfield Academy and the University of North Carolina, at both institutions, Fritz was an All-American, team captain, record holder and loyal friend to many. Fritz also swam for Suburban Swim Club in Newtown Square, PA, competed in the 1976 US Olympic Trials, and qualified for the 1980 Trials but was unable to compete due to injury. In 2009, Fritz was inducted into the Maine Swimming Hall of Fame, and in 2014, co-founded the Southern Maine Aquatic Club with his partner, Leanne Pedro.  He remained a part of the team as coach and advisor until his death.  

A lifelong music lover, for 12 years until the final week of his life, Fritz was the host of his weekly radio show, The Blues Station, that aired on WERU-FM. Selecting music, interviewing musicians, and making new friends with kindred souls, he found great joy in producing his shows. Not surprisingly, Fritz’s competitive spirit rose to the challenge of the pledge drives and he was one of the few people on earth who enjoyed them.

Fritz’s last three years were what he termed “The Reprieve.” In May of 2019, he survived being struck head-on by a drunk driver traveling in the wrong direction on I-95 and recognized that the life he had left to live was a bonus not to be wasted. Despite his later cancer diagnosis, Fritz had no regrets and lived life to its fullest. Cherishing his loved ones and embracing so many adventures along the way, Fritz was a personality larger than life and had the charisma to light up every room, large or small. His legacy will live on in his children and in all the lives of those he impacted. As for the many stories of Fritz’s misadventures and mischief-making told by his friends, they are all true.

Fritz leaves behind his parents, Margaret and Harrison Homans; daughter, Hannah Homans; son, Harrison Homans; loving partner, Leanne Pedro; cherished sister, Amy Homans and her children Noah and Nathaniel Youngren; several special cousins; and a legion of friends across the world.  

A celebration of Fritz’s life will be held on July 9 at 1:00 at The Boathouse in Belfast, Maine.  In memory of Fritz, donations may be made to WERU-FM, P.O. Box 170, Orland, Maine 04431-0170.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543.  Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.

 

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Services

Celebration of Life
Saturday
July 9, 2022

1:00 PM
Belfast Boathouse
34 Commercial Street
Belfast, ME 04915
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