Fretz and Ware leave lasting legacies
By Steven Hoffman
Carl Fretz passed away at the age of 85 on July 2, the same day that a memorial service was held for John H. Ware IV, another iconic figure in Oxford.
It's unusual for a small community to have such generous benefactors, but the two men shared a love of Oxford. They both dedicated their time and talents to make the community a better place for everyone who lived and worked there. In one way or another, they helped many, if not all, of the organizations that work to improve the lives of Oxford residents.
Fretz spent most of his professional career as an executive with the Peoples Bank of Oxford. He was an ardent supporter and advocate of small businesses in the community, and when Fretz held a management position the bank was an unquestionable asset to the business owners during a period of growth in the Oxford area in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Fretz was a family man and a people person who often shared his terrific singing voice during community events like the patriotic remembrances that were started after 9/11. He served on the school board, he was a president of the Lions Club, a founding member of the Oxford Athletic Association, and he was an early supporter of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. when that organization got its start.
Ware, meanwhile, liked to regale acquaintances with his jokes and stories. The Ware family has held a prominent place in the Oxford community for generations, and Ware generously supported dozens of organizations in the Oxford area, contributing what is believed to be millions of dollars. Organizations like the Oxford Area Senior Center, the Jennersville YMCA, the Oxford Public Library, the Neighborhood Services Center, and the Oxford Fire Company were close to his heart.
Ware was a longtime member of Oxford Borough Council, including six years when he served as council president. He gave generously to the borough and its police department for many years.
Ware and Fretz have both left a lasting legacy of service to the community that current and future generations can emulate—but will find very difficult to duplicate.
Fretz and Ware will be missed, and their contributions to the Oxford community will long be remembered.