On Monday Jan 11, the Canadian flag atop Carleton Place’s town hall flew at half-mast in solemn acknowledgement of the sudden and unexpected passing of Councilor Theresa Fritz on Sunday Jan 10th.
In a statement posted on the town’s website on Sunday evening, Mayor Doug Black wrote, “It is with great sadness that we share with the community the sudden and unexpected passing of Councilor Theresa Fritz. Theresa has been a valued member of the Carleton Place Town Council for the past 7 years and her contributions towards bettering her community will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and condolences are with her family at this difficult time, particularly with her husband Scott and her son Shane. Anyone who knew Theresa knew how passionate she was about her community and her role in ensuring its bright future for both current residents and future generations. The impact of the loss of Theresa will be felt far and wide throughout the community as she was a beloved friend to many, and she will be dearly missed by her fellow Councilors and Town Staff.”
Theresa was serving her second term on Carleton Place council, having been reelected after her first round which began in 2014. She had called the town her home since 1990. She graduated from Carleton University’s school of journalism in 1989 and was a reporter and later editor for the Carleton Place Canadian and Almonte Gazette newspapers and a managing editor for Metroland Media. She moved her career into public service with the federal government in Ottawa in 2018. While her time as a resident in Carleton Place may have been short, her list of activities towards the improvement of the community was long. She served on the board of directors for the Lanark County Interval House, Carleton Place and District Youth Centre (with two years as president), the United Way of Lanark County and the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital Foundation. She was also an active member of the Carleton Place Minor Hockey Association executive.
I was honoured to be part of a unique connection with Theresa. During my 2 terms as a Carleton Place councilor, she was the reporter (never missing a meeting to my memory) and later on our roles were switched with Theresa at the council table and me covering things from the media desk. I was also fortunate to serve with her on the board of the Carleton Place and District Youth Centre. She was an incredibly dedicated individual putting in a full effort (and then some) towards any issue or organization that called on her common sense leadership and uncanny ability to build consensus as well as exceptional organizational skills. Often times the political arena can be divisive when dealing with contentious topics, but Theresa consistently demonstrated a willingness to listen and collaborate and above all else she was fair to all parties involved. She was vocal and determined when fighting for a cause she believed in and went above and beyond to become knowledgeable about new issues and challenges when they arose. To say Carleton Place will not soon see the likes of Theresa Fritz again would be the understatement of the century.