Fritzi Krause in
the title role
of Peter Pan, from On With
Show, Lake Charles Little
Theatre 75th Anniversary.
||January 13, 1924
in Lake Charles, Louisiana|
1998 in Lake Charles, Louisiana|
Lake Charles, Louisiana (Map
||David Augustus Wilson|
||June 21, 1959 in
Lake Charles, Louisiana|
Lake Charles American Press,
January 13, 1998, p. 2:
Fritzi Wilson dies at 73
Charles American Press newswoman Fritzi Krause Wilson
died Sunday, two weeks after concluding a journalism careen
that began in 1943.
Wilson died at 8 p.m. Sunday in a
local hospital. The body will be cremated and there will be no
service the family said.
She joined the
American Press part-time as a teenager in summer of
1943. She became a full-time reporter on the staff in 1945
after earning a journalism degree.
Wilson covered Lake Charles as a beat reporter for 14 years.
Her byline appeared on such significant events as the arrival
from Cameron of Hurricane Audrey victims at the Port of lake
Charles in 1957.
She resigned in 1959 to
marry and raise a family – then returned to the American
Press part-time in 1981 and remained on the newsroom staff
until her retirement.
A lifelong Lake
Charles resident, she was a graduate of Central School and
Lake Charles High School, attended John McNeese Junior College
– now McNeese State University – and graduated from
Louisiana State University in 1945.
Throughout her life, the arts were a personal and professional
She was a performer in high
school as captain of the Kilties – and then took to the local
stage, where her stage credits included the title role in the
Lake Charles Little Theatre's production of "Peter
directed by Rosa Hart.
For years, Wilson
chronicled the emerging preservation movement in the area,
coordinating annual coverage in the American Press as
local homes and structures achieved landmark
For a book on McNeese Theatre's
50th anniversary in 1989, Wilson contributed an essay on the
school's longtime director of theatre, Margery Wilson – the
mother of her late husband David.
the American Press' 100th anniversary edition in 1995,
she wrote one of the four cover stories on life in the past
century. Her story summarized the 1945-70 era in Southwest
Wilson's final byline in the
American Press was a full-page feature on the 40th
anniversary of Art Associates of Lake
She retired Dec. 29. The
newspaper had been her first and only
Survivors are two sons, David
K. Wilson of Davis, Calif., and Krause Wilson of Baton Rouge;
and one grandchild.
may be made to Episcopal Day School, the family
Lake Charles American
Press, Wednesday, March 29, 2000, p. B1:
opportunities in newspaper business
Wilson's career as an American Press reporter spanned
the more than half a century, beginning during World War II
and ending in the middle of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky
That career ended just two
weeks before her death. The newspaper was her first and only
Wilson began at the
American Press in 1943, when she worked part time
during the summer. She became a full-time staff reporter in
1945 after earning a journalism degree from
Don Kingery, a retired American
Press news editor and current editor of The Informer
column for the paper, worked with Wilson during most of her
Kingery said the newspaper
business during the '40s was male-dominated. Women reporters
were scarce and were left to cover garden club meetings,
sewing circles and society events.
Wilson forced her way in, Kingery said.
"She took the unusual route and took every offbeat assignment
she could find to try to push her way out of that 'soft news'
mold," he said.
She did this by creating
opportunities for herself.
didn't talk about it. She just did it," he
Wilson swung on the trapeze and
rode horses around the ring when the circus came to town. She
put on a wet suit and went scuba diving. She spent time on oil
rigs and rode on fishing boats. She climbed a fire-truck
ladder. All in the name of news.
the uniqueness of it all that drew attention to her. Women had
never done such things before," Kingery said. "She took
assignments that nobody else wanted."
That led Wilson to bigger and better things. She covered
politics and government, including the Lake Charles City Hall
beat for 14 years. Her byline appeared on such significant
events as the arrival at the Port of Lake Charles of Hurricane
Audrey victims in 1957.
in 1959 to marry and raise her two children, but returned as a
part-time employee in 1981.
Wilson chronicled the emerging preservation movement in the
area, coordinating annual coverage in the American
Press as local homes and structures achieved landmark
For the American Press'
100th anniversary edition in 1995, she wrote one of the four
cover stories on life in the past century. Her story
summarized the 1945-70 era in Southwest
News wasn't Wilson's only
passion. She performed in local theatre productions, where her
stage credits included the title role in the Lake Charles
Little Theatre's production of "Peter Pan," directed by Rosa
Kingery called Wilson a "small
pioneer" – only a small sector of people could recognize her
standards and accomplishments and appreciate
"Her accomplishments didn't come
with neon lights and bells and whistles," he said. "And she
couldn't influence people who were unable to perceive what
Fritzi was doing. But by doing things that women hadn't done
before – simply doing them, without fanfare – she did
influence a few people of stature who then effected change.
And like Fritzi, they did it without noise. Women today cover
every hard news beat there is because of the things Fritzi and
a few others like her did more than 50 years
In a conversation Kingery had with
Wilson right before she died, Wilson told him she found it
frustrating that others didn't set similar standards for
"She did the best with
whatever she had," he said. "That was the standard. That's how
I judge success. There's not a thing that Eleanor Roosevelt
did that Fritzi didn't do better. The difference is one made
noise and the other didn't.
achieved a good bit during her career. She wasn't unique, but
she did better than she knew. Her progress was not with big
strides, but small steps," Kingery said.
Wilson's final byline in the American Press was a
full-page feature on the 40th anniversary of Art Associates of
In the last few months of
her life, Wilson was in poor health, but she hung on to see
the birth of her first grandchild, David Wiley
He was born three weeks before
Back to Fritzi
Krause and David Augustus Wilson