Remembering Carl Fretz at Christmastime
● By Steven Hoffman
The Carl R. Fretz Memorial to Community Service was installed at the Oxford Memorial Park a few months ago as a reminder of his many contributions to the Oxford community. Some of Oxford's longtime residents might be thinking of Fretz at this time of year—he was very involved with his church, he loved to sing, and for many years he would very quietly decorate a Christmas tree in the same park where the memorial now stands.
Fretz, who passed away at the age of 85 in 2015, was a tireless advocate and supporter of the Oxford community during his career at the Peoples Bank of Oxford. His career at Peoples Bank spanned 50 years, and the bank was able to help countless local residents and business owners achieve their goals and dreams at a time when the local bank was intertwined with the community. Fretz was instrumental in helping the Oxford community grow during the decades that he led the bank.
As a lifelong resident of Oxford, Fretz was heavily invested in the community. He was a president of the Lions Club, vice president of the Union Fire Company and its ambulance association, and a founding member of the Oxford Athletic Association. He also served on the Oxford School Board and was on the board of the Oxford Area Historical Association. When Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. was founded two decades ago, Fretz was a chairman of the board of directors.
The memorial to Fretz reads: “Erected by friends of Carl R. Fretz (1930-2015) to commemorate all those who, like Carl, have embodied the very best in serving Oxford, by contributing their time, vision, and resources to support the needs, aspirations, and dreams of the people of Oxford.”
The memorial is comprised of three stones that are original Oxford curbstones from when President Lincoln's body was carried through Oxford on April 21, 1865.
The Oxford community has benefited from a number of people who shared Fretz's dedication to community service so, as Christmas approaches, we thank them and also remember Fretz.