Fritz K. Kohl Jr., one of the early visitors to Camp Good Days and Special Times who later served as a role model for those who followed, died Thursday (Feb. 22, 2001) of lung cancer in his Marilla home. He was 32.
Kohl was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at 12. He spent his first session at the summer camp on Keuka Lake in 1983 and was a role model for young children with similar diagnoses.
Kohl later became a counselor at the camp, where he drove around on a motorized cart after his illness left him unable to walk. He used his special cart, affectionately known as the "Fritzmobile," to drive other children and visitors to their destinations.
His involvement with Camp Good Days led to meeting several stars of the sports world and he also presented a camp jacket to former President Ronald Reagan.
Last December, he traveled to Los Angeles to make an appearance on an episode of "NYPD Blue" with actor Gordon Clapp who plays Detective Greg Medavoy. The two had met years earlier at Studio Arena, where Kohl also did some acting.
The scene in which Kohl appears, while being pushed though an emergency room in his wheelchair, is scheduled to air in a March episode.
Kohl was a 1986 graduate of Iroquois High School, then later attended Erie Community College's South Campus for two years and Hilbert College for one. He served as a volunteer at Aurora Park Nursing Home for three years.
Kohl was a member of Buffalo Soccer Club, with which he played when he was younger. His dream was to play professional soccer like his father and grandfather.
Sports, reading and computers were among his hobbies.
Survivors include his parents, Fritz Sr. and Rose of Marilla; two sisters, Lisa of Marilla and Karla Nolan of Elma; and his maternal grandmother, Jennie Interlicchia of Rochester.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 7580 Clinton St., Elma. Burial will be in Marilla Cemetery.