Andrew Aaron Fritz, age 40 of Sacramento, California, and formerly of Taylor and Seguin, Texas, passed away on September 2, 2019, along with his wife Adrian Danielle Dahood-Fritz. Andrew was born on Oct.6, 1978 in Austin, Texas, to Linda (Johns) Fritz and Atlee Fritz.
Andrew grew up in Seguin. He had many interests to which he gave his passion and energy. He was a lifelong animal lover. His love of the outdoors was fostered by his years in the Boy Scouts where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout at age 16. During his early years, he also became involved in Tae Kwon Do, and competed in the National Junior Olympics, and computer science and band during high school. When he was 10 the family bought their first computer, and another passion was born.
Andrew graduated from Seguin High School in 1996, and then attended Texas Lutheran University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from TLU in 2000 with a BS in computer Science and a BA in Mathematics. It was at TLU that his passion for scuba diving was born. This led him to cave dive in places such as Florida and Cozumel, and also in the South Pacific at Truk Lagoon into sunken Japanese WWII ships. Andrew also discovered Toyota Supras during this time, which enticed him toward another hobby, race car building and racing, and mechanics.
Andrew began his career as a software engineer in Austin, TX., and eventually moved to Houston to enroll in graduate school at the University of Houston where he worked in the Physics department. In 2005 he received his Master of Science from University of Houston where he specialized in information security solutions.
Andrew met his wife, Adrian, while taking swing dance lessons in Houston in 2008. They were married January 2, 2010 in Galveston. Once they met, their lives were inextricably entwined, with each supporting the other through numerous fellowships, career changes, and cross-country moves.
The couple moved to Washington D.C. in 2010 when Adrian began as a Knauss Fellow with the National Science Foundation in the Office of Polar Programs. It was then that Andrew began to transition from IT work to expand his photography skills and begin his career as a professional photographer.
They returned to Texas, settling in Taylor while Adrian completed her Ph.D. dissertation, and Andrew joined AzulOx Visuals as a partner and principal photographer. His love for photography and teaching others to appreciate and capture the natural world around them blossomed. In particular, Andrew’s self-taught photography skills and acumen led him to become an expert in photographing the night sky.
During this time, Andrew also partnered to form Minerva Work Solutions, where he put his skills and passions to use to champion the strategic application of scientific principles to achieve organizational and team success for non-profits and other worthwhile causes.
Adrian completed her Ph.D. at George Mason University in Environmental Science and Public Policy in 2017, and the couple soon moved to San Diego where she was a Post-Doctoral Scholar at UC Santa Cruz Institute of Marine Sciences with the NOAA Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California.
Adrian and Andrew enjoyed exploring California and the Pacific coast together, and hosting friends and family to enjoy their new surroundings as well. It was in San Diego that Andrew began to more broadly explore the American West, and to expand his photography skill and workshop offerings, making multiple cross-country trips in his truck to continue teaching photography in Austin.
Andrew and Adrian moved to Sacramento in April of this year, where Adrian began her position with the State of California as the Senior Scientist/Policy Advisor for the Ocean Protection Council working with the State’s Marine Protected Areas program. Andrew was expanding his workshop offerings, with teaching/learning excursions planned for the coming months across the US and the world.
Andrew was a craftsman, woodworker, conservationist, artist, and scholar. Whatever Andrew set his mind to, he did so with a passion seldom seen. Andrew and Adrian spent their lives together working to hone their skills and knowledge to mentor, teach, and care for others, and to apply their collective acumen and passion to improve the world around them for future generations. They will be deeply missed. Andrew and Adrian left this world together doing something they both loved – appreciating and documenting the natural world around them.
Andrew is preceded in death by his grandparents Atlee and Ruby Fritz and Alvis and Gettys Johns, and his beloved cats D.C. and Big Boy. He is survived by his parents, Atlee and Linda Fritz of Seguin, and his sister, Angela Elizabeth Fritz of Rosenberg, TX., along with cats Inara and Takhira, numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and a myriad of friends, students, and colleagues from across the nation and world.
A celebration of life service honoring Andrew and Adrian will be held on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Jackson Auditorium in the Weston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Texas Lutheran University, 510 Fleming Dr., Seguin, Texas, 78155. A reception will follow in the Christian Life Center (CLC) at First United Methodist Church, 710 N. Austin, Seguin, Texas, 78155. Private interment will follow at a later date at San Geronimo Cemetery.
A live stream of the service will be available at bit.ly/2AHiaPI.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Andrew and Adrian’s name to The Joshua Tree National Park Association (joshuatree.org), the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (www.apecs.is/), the City of Taylor, Animal Shelter 500 S. Main St., Taylor 76574, or a charity of one’s choice. You are invited to sign the guestbook at www.treshewell.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Tres Hewell Mortuary, 165 Tor Dr., Seguin, Texas, 78155, 830-549-5912.