Alfred 'Fritz' Rentschler, 94, Had Relentless Passion for Farming

 02/27/2018 - 23:07

Alfred Christian Rentschler, fondly known as Fritz, passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2018, at 94 years of age.  

He was born July 20, 1923, to Alfred J. and Clara (Feldkamp) Rentschler in Lodi Township on Ellsworth Road, the same home where he lived his entire life. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Saline. He graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1941. He met Elizabeth (Betty) Blaess at the Pittsfield Grange and they were married at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Ann Arbor on November 24, 1945, where he remains a member.

They raised three children: Donald (Mary Robison) of Ann Arbor, Brenda (John) Finkbeiner of Chelsea, and Lyle (Beth Ann Roughton) of Saline.

He is survived by eight grandchildren: Amy Rentschler (Tod Whipple), Ryan (Natalie Weidmayer) Rentschler, Chad (Jillian Stallsworth) Finkbeiner, Jill (Dusty) Turner, Caryn Finkbeiner (Jonny Fairplay), Angela (Nic) Shirey, Eric (Chrissy Bingham) and Abigail Rentschler.  He is also survived by seven (almost eight) great-grandchildren: Blake, Nathan, Benjamin and Christian Rentschler, Cal and Reese Turner, and Madilyn Finkbeiner and the 8th due in May, little one Shirey, along with many nieces and nephews and their families.

Fritz was a dedicated life-long farmer. His relentless passion for the farming profession never wavered. He was a member of Michigan Milk Producers and Farm Bureau.

He was a former director of the country school, Dold School (Wagner and Ellsworth Roads). Fritz loved playing fast pitch softball in his younger days and in later years he enjoyed restoring historic cars and tractors. He made many happy memories with family and friends attending parades, trips to get ice cream, or supper at Bridgewater Bank in his favorite antique car, his 1941 Ford Convertible, with Betty at his side. A game of euchre (pepper, too) was his favorite card game. He was a longtime member of the Wednesday Night Euchre Club.

The saddest day of his life: when Betty predeceased him on May 16, 2015.  He was also predeceased by his parents, two sisters and their husbands:  Doris (Earl) Perkins and Alice (Laddie) Boychuck, two brothers-in-law and their wives: Julius (Jean Carter, Betty Scherdt) Blaess and William (Geraldine Randall) Blaess, and a nephew, David Blaess.

Visitation will be held at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline on Friday, March 2, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 3, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. with service to begin at 11:00 a.m.  Burial to follow at Oakwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (in honor of Betty) or Bethlehem United Church of Christ and envelopes will be available at the funeral home.  The family would like to thank St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Linden Square Assisted Living, and Heartland Hospice for their compassion and kindness. To leave a memory you have of Fritz or for directions please visit   

Robison Bahnmiller Funeral Home
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