Born and raised in Hartford, Jamie was the only child of Joseph and Marion (Mikolajczyk) Wiancek. In her youth, she designed and made her own clothes, spent incalculable hours in dance class, enjoyed reading, and was an all-around autodidact. (“Look it up.” -Jamie Fritsch)
Jamie managed to combine all her interests into a career as a professional dancer (with lifelong friend Alyce Carella and Frank Hatchett) then as a costume designer, and ultimately she opened her own dance recital/costume manufacturing businesses, Jamie Originals and The Costume Shop, in Manchester in 1976.
Jamie married David Fritsch, Jr in 1962 and together they raised three children, Susan Vollenweider (Brian), David III (Tracy) Fritsch, and Stephanie Fritsch in Ashford and then Manchester. Avid sailors, the family spent a great deal of time exploring coastal New England and discovering the best ice cream shops wherever they dropped anchor.
Jamie wore many hats and had many interests, but the one that her family and friends benefited from the most was her self-taught ability to cook anything and cook it well. “If you can read, you can cook,” is wisdom she imparted to her children while she passed on her knowledge and recipes.
Upon retirement, Jamie shuttered her business, the couple sold their home, and the two of them lived all over the world on a trawler yacht, Kwakatu. While this was, mostly, her husband’s dream, Jamie adored travel and learned or experienced something new at every port.
Jamie is preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 52 years, Dave. She spent her final years based in Vernon, Connecticut but still managed vacations with her family where she read a lot of books in beautiful places.
Jamie leaves behind five grandchildren, Sean, Emily, Rebekah, Luke, and Noah, and a large chosen family including lifelong friends George and Sue Zurles, as well as Dawn Carlson.
It is with a heavy heart full of beautiful memories that we say goodbye to an intelligent and creative woman who knew how to make unconventional choices, conventional.
There will be no funeral service, but, per Jamie’s wishes, a celebration and toast to her life will be planned for later this year if circumstances allow. If you are so led, memorial donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association or the ADA New England Chapter at P.O. Box 7023, Merrifield Virginia 22116-7023, or The Connecticut Arts Alliance at ctartsalliance.org.