Max R. Fritschel, 91, of Rosemount, Minn., formerly of Minocqua, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was born in Milwaukee, the son of Max C. Fritschel, Jr. and Mary G. (Griffith) Fritschel.
Max grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from Shorewood High School in 1944. Like many in his generation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and was trained as a top turret gunner on the Boeing B-29 superfortress bomber before the war ended.
In 1951, he married Arlyne "Sandy" (Sandell) Fritschel and continued his education under the G.I. bill, completing a B.S. in business administration at Marquette University in 1952.
In 1952, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was seeking to add to their ranks and Max was recruited to start what became a distinguished career in law enforcement. Trained in Quantico, Virg., his role as a special agent brought him to stops in Houston, Denver, New York City, and Chicago. Under J. Edgar Hoover's direction, he worked criminal investigations which spanned bank robberies, interstate hijackings, kidnappings, and the pursuit of fugitives. His 10 years in New York focused on the surveillance of the most notorious members of well-known mafia families of the 1960s and 1970s. Some notable events in his career occurred when he was assigned to help investigate the 1964 murders of civil rights workers in Mississippi and the 1973 occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, S.D. Max's testimony at several trials helped lead the government case against high-profile criminal figures.
Although his retirement from the FBI in 1977 was mandatory at age 55, he continued his law enforcement career by helping structure and organize the Illinois Bureau of Investigation as its deputy director. In 1981, Max and Sandy chose Minocqua as their retirement home, but Max wasn't ready to focus only on golf. He joined the Minocqua Police Department as a somewhat over-qualified parking meter attendant, but also served as a mentor to younger officers and acted as a liaison on investigations that involved the State of Wisconsin or federal authorities.
Max and Sandy enjoyed 35 years in Minocqua, creating many fond memories with their family on Lake Minocqua and at the Minocqua Country Club. Max was a long-time member of Calvary Lutheran Church and the American Legion. He was a devoted Green Bay Packer and Wisconsin Badger Football fan. He loved to golf and socialize, enjoying an occasional cocktail with friends.
Max is survived by Arlyne "Sandy," his loving spouse of 65 years, his sister Anne (Forrest) Crone of Appleton, daughter Linda (Tom) Reasoner of Lisle, Ill., daughter Mary (Tim) Doerr of Montgomery, Ill., and son Jamie (Colleen) Fritschel of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Also surviving are eight grandchildren and seven great grand-children. He was preceeded in death by his son Mark.
At Max's request, a private memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Augustana Care directed to the Rosemount Senior Living campus (Augustanacare.org). Max will have his final resting place in the Friends Quaker cemetery in McNabb, Ill.