Bruce Ralph Fretz |

Bruce Ralph Fretz

The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

Bruce Ralph Fretz died July 17, 2012, after complications from emergency heart surgery.

He was born June 28, 1939, in Doylestown, Penn. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Gettysburg College in 1961 and married his wife, Barbara, that same year. Four years later, he received a PhD in counseling psychology from Ohio State University.

He and Barbara moved to Maryland where Bruce began his 30-year career in counseling psychology. He quickly became the director of the counseling psychology program at the University of Maryland’s College Park campus, a title he held from 1969 to 1991. From 1992 until his retirement in 1995, he served as acting associate provost and associate vice president of academic affairs at the university. He represented his field widely and prominently, served as a site visitor for numerous counseling psychology programs, an editor of the Counseling Psychologist, president of Division 17 of the American Psychological Association and in several capacities with the National Register of Health Service Providers, including its president from 1995 to 1998. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, they sang with a number of church choirs and for over 20 years sang with The Oratorio Society of Washington, performing at the Kennedy Center.

In 1995, Bruce and Barbara chose Aspen to retire. During his retirement, he and Barbara continued to pursue their love of travel, music, cuisine and outdoor living. Their international travels took them to well over 100 different countries. They sang with the Aspen Choral Society, Christ Episcopal Church, and the Aspen Chapel. Bruce’s favorite activity, along with hiking in the Aspen area, was volunteering with the Aspen Music Festival for the Sunday afternoon performances. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Wheeler Opera House.

In 2005, after three years on the Pitkin County Citizen Grant Review Committee, he received the Pitkin County Care Volunteer Service “Health” Award. Always enjoying outdoor activities in Aspen, he volunteered for The Buddy Race, Wintersköl, and the Winter X Games. Additional volunteer activities in Aspen included Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, and the annual Food and Wine Classic. A highly intelligent, thoughtful, gentle and fun-loving soul, Bruce will be missed by all those who knew him.

Bruce Fretz was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Mary Elizabeth (Betty). He is survived by his wife, Barbara; son Eric and his wife Jennifer; daughter Lori Zipes and her husband Paul; grandchildren Mason, Brie, and Enna Fretz, and Benjamin and Anna Zipes; and sisters Jacqueline Moll, Barbara Buck, and Sandra Traister.

There will be a celebration of Bruce’s life at the Aspen Chapel, Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that support be given to a charity of your choice or a donation to the Fretz Research Award, which is given yearly to a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Maryland. Contact:

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