Audrey Nienhouse ’56 Fritts

Audrey Mae Nienhouse Fritts was born November 6, 1934 to Edward and Gladys Nienhouse in Oak Park, IL. From an early age, she loved music and pushed to start piano lessons at the age of seven. Audrey attended Oak Park River Forest High School. In her senior year, she met the love of her life, Bob Fritts, when both were performing in the comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. For the next 60 years, they sang in choirs together around the world. Audrey attended Hope College in Holland, MI. She married Bob soon after graduation and moved to San Diego where she taught middle school history and English while Bob served in the Navy. They welcomed two daughters, Susan and Robin, in the early 60’s. Audrey was by Bob’s side every step of the way during his long career as a Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department. Together they represented the United States in Luxemburg, Japan, Indonesia, Sudan, Rwanda and Ghana. Audrey was the quintessential hostess, effortlessly coordinating functions both large and small. Witty and astute, she had a knack for drawing people out and was a great listener. Always the connector, she learned the basics of Japanese, Bahasa Indonesian and French during her travels, although she often would dryly admit that it was hard to be amusing in a foreign language. Audrey was an avid bridge player, a voracious reader, an accomplished chef and a skilled doubles tennis partner. She adored fishing with her husband in lakes around the world, especially in their beloved Michigan. An ardent sports fan, she closely followed the Redskins and Orioles as well as The Tribe. Audrey and Bob retired to Williamsburg, Virginia in 1992 where they quickly plugged into the community, first in Kingsmill and subsequently at Williamsburg Landing. She and Bob were members of Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. She greatly valued spending time with her daughters and grandchildren, who loved their “Oma”. Audrey moved to Arizona in the summer of 2017 and lived the last months of her life near Robin and her family. She died, at age 82, on October 27 with Robin at her side. A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, November 11, at Williamsburg Landing Anderson Auditorium, 5700 Williamsburg Landing Drive, Williamsburg, VA. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Compassus of Northern Arizona, 1000 N. Humphreys Street, Suite 220, Flagstaff, Arizona 86001.

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