Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Friday, May 25, 2018

Rest in Peace - April Graham Fritz

 No one would debate whether April was one of the smartest students we knew at Moline High. Her achievements in helping to fight cancer are consistent with her talents and dedication in school.

April Fritz passed away at her home in Reno, Nevada on September 12, 2017.

April Christine Graham was born in Rochester, Minnesota on November 19, 1948. She grew up in Moline, Illinois and attended local schools there. In high school, she participated in debate, the literary magazine, and the school orchestra. She was an accomplished cellist.

April graduated from Knox College in 1970 with honors in English literature. She was also inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. At Knox, she met Bob Fritz. They were married in October of 1971. April spent 28 years as an Army spouse after Bob was recalled to active duty in 1976.

While living in Milwaukee in 1972, April was accepted for a position in the medical records department at Columbia Hospital. She soon came to specialize in tumor registry and earned certification as both a registered health information technician (RHIT) and as a certified tumor registrar (CTR). She is a past president of the Wisconsin Cancer Registrars Association and the National Tumor Registrars Association.

She eventually went to work for ELM Services where she traveled around the country training customers on the company’s cancer data software system. In 1995, she accepted a position with the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program at the National Cancer Institute where she focused on data management and training. She was also the lead author of the International Classification of Disease for Oncology when the World Health Organization published a new edition in 2000.

Upon retiring from the NCI, April founded her company, A.Fritz and Associates and began offering training courses for registrars. April excelled in the classroom where she was able to organize and convey complex information to hundreds of students over the years. She had a wonderfully wry sense of humor. She published several books, including a two-volume desk reference for tumor registrars, which is also being used as a textbook at a number of colleges in their cancer information management programs.

April was a sought-after speaker for state and national tumor registry conferences. She also participated in training events around the world, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Kingdom.

Cancer was more than a matter of classification and statistics to April. She was a 25-year survivor of breast cancer and had been fighting pancreatic cancer for the last three and a half years.

April enjoyed travel, ballet, classical music, reading, cooking for and entertaining friends, and spending time with her rescued dogs. She also was on the Board of Directors of Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training (GRREAT) in Maryland for many years and edited their newsletter.

She is survived by her husband, Col. Robert G. Fritz and her sister, Robin Graham of East Moline, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that memorial donations be made to the NCRA Education Foundation. The family is working with NCRA to create a scholarship or educational program in April’s name with the details being announced at the NCRA Annual Meeting in May.

Checks with “April Fritz Memorial” in the memo line may be sent to the NCRA Educational Fund, 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 520, Alexandria, VA 22314 or you may make an online donation in April’s memory at Be sure to type April’s name in the “in memory of” block. ___________

Joint Statement by the
National Cancer Registrars Association and the
North American Association of Central Cancer Registries
in Memory of April Fritz, RHIT, CTR

April Fritz's name is interwoven throughout the story of cancer surveillance. We lost April yesterday to cancer, the disease to which she devoted her life's work. As an employee in both the public and private sectors and as a volunteer to many nonprofits, April played a pivotal role advancing cancer surveillance and, in turn, improving public health. Both NCRA and NAACCR benefited from April's devotion and both organizations recognized her work and dedication with their highest honors.

Please join us in remembering April by keeping her family in your thoughts and continuing your hard work along the path that April helped build. We will continue to share information about formal remembrance events as they become known.

Betsy Kohler, MPH, CTR
Executive Director, NAACCR

Lori Swain, MS
Executive Director, NCRA


About A.Fritz and Associates
 Our company was founded by April Fritz. BA, RHIT, CTR (1949-2017) in 2005.
After a more than three decades as a trainer of hospital-based registrars and a decade as the manager of education and training for the SEER program, April Fritz identified not only the important issues in cancer registry education, but brought together a group of skilled individuals who can deliver training on a variety of subjects in workshops large and small.  Ou r associates are comfortable in a variety of formats, including single or multiple-day presentations in front of groups, more comprehensive training programs lasting five days or longer, online classroom settings, videoconferencing, and newer technologies such as webcasting and webconferencing.   
April is  the author of The Cancer Registry CASEbook: Coding, Abstracting, Staging and Exercises.  This book provides comprehensive, illustrated, site-specific information and practica for beginner and intermediate level cancer registrars. Here are more details.
  Until the spring of 2006, April was the Manager of Data Quality for the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland. Prior to her federal service, she was employed by several hospitals and a cancer registry software vendor.

April developed the Principles of Oncology for Cancer Registry Professionals training program in 1992.  She  made presentations to dozens of cancer registry organizations and has been a consultant to many cancer organizations, including theCommission on Cancer, the American Joint Committee on CancerSNOMED InternationalInternational Agency for Research on Cancer, and the American Veterinary Medical Association

April combined her registry technical knowledge with skill and experience as a writer.  She served on the editorial committees of numerous international standard registry references, including the
In addition to the standard registry references, she helped develop  a variety of tools for cancer registrars as part of the SEER Program, such as
  • SEER*Rx, the cancer registrar’s interactive antineoplastic drug database
  • Abstracting and Coding Guide for the Hematopoietic Diseases
  • The Brain Book, Abstracting & Coding Guidelines for Primary Central Nervous System Tumors 
  • Single versus Subsequent Primaries of Lymphatic and Hematopoietic Diseases
  • The Registrar's Key to Abstracting
  • Professional Review for Cancer Registrars (Florida Cancer Registrars Association CTR exam preparation manual)

April was a past president of the  National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), and was active in state and national professional organizations.  Professional honors include the Distinguished Member and Education awards from the National Cancer Registrars Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and service awards from the National Cancer Institute.

Memorial Day Weekend - Sgt. John Baker - Medal of Honor Winner

Above and beyond the call of duty, Viet Nam

 Sgt. John Baker Bridge

 John Baker's funeral

 Veterans Honor Rose is a fitting symbol of those who fought for their country. Classmates, spouses, and friends served in our military, and some died in action.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy 36th Wedding Anniversary, Lawrence and Laurie Eyre

 Same shirts, same profession, almost the same first name -
triple match point. Happy 36th Anniversary, Lawrence and Laurie Eyre.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Happy 50th Anniversary, Steve Quick and Susan Ogle, and God's Blessings

This is first 50th anniversary I have run across for MHS 1966, The Class the Stars Fell On. Steve retired as a Colonel in the Air Force, which is the highest field grade officer ranking, requiring 22 years of service plus 3 years as a Lt. Colonel.

Thank you for your service to our country, Steve, and thank you for being a military wife, Susan.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rest in Peace - Gretchen Hansen, Mother of Tom and Rick Hansen

 Gretchen Hansen

Gretchen C. Hansen, 101, of Moline, IL, passed away Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at Park Vista Assisted Living in East Moline, IL.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 13th, at 10:00 a.m., at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 4107 – 21st Avenue, Moline, with a one-hour visitation prior to the service, beginning at 9:00.

Inurnment will be in Greenview Memorial Gardens in East Moline, IL. Memorials may be made to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Moline, or to the East Moline or Moline Public Libraries.

Gretchen Hollatz was born November 11, 1916, in Geneseo, IL, daughter of Herman and Mina (Fischer) Hollatz. On July 30, 1944, in Geneseo, she married Richard Hansen, who preceded her in death September 10, 1962.

She was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church for many years. She was an excellent card player, especially enjoying the game of Bridge. Gretchen loved to read, work with her roses and raspberry bushes, play golf, go bowling, and, in her younger years, play softball.

Survivors include her sons, Rick Hansen of Riverview, FL, and Tom Hansen of Blue Springs, MO; her grandson, Rich (MariCris) Hansen of San Carlos, CA; and her great-grandchildren, Jack and Sam. In addition to her husband and her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, a half-brother, and a daughter-in-law.


GJ - Tom's family lived about one-half block from us, so I remember his parents so well. His mother had an infectious laugh, which I could hear again when I saw her photo, above. Her smile did not change at all, so I could have identified her without any hints.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas Album - Past and Present

 Jorja Hepner, MHS 66

 Kris Streed, MHS 66

 Moline's homegrown Santa - Mike Collins, MHS 68

 Kathleen Wilcox, MHS 66

 Bethany Jackson's Christmas dress,MHS 66, once removed

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Astonishing Coincidences

John and Diana Robeson were married on November 22, 1969, and so were the Jacksons.

All of us are Cubs fans, which means our parents
never saw a Cubs World Series win, place, or show.

 I invented a cloaking device in chem-physics, but no one noticed.

John and I went to Plymouth Congregational Church, pre-school, and ended up as lab partners in chem-physics class.
I am in that photo - my uncredited cameo.
John and I earned PhDs and became university professors. There was another eventual PhD
in that class, but that was just in rocket science.

 Christina and I had our anniversary photos 
taken at Penney's.
John and Diana's children and grandchildren have hair
the color of bright, red pennies.