Donald L Fry, 1927-2017
Donald Louis Fry passed away April 20, 2017 at the age of 89. He was born June 4, 1927 in Kalispell, the 3rd of 5 children of Louis E Fry ad Caroline Wilhelm Fry. Growing up in Kalispell Don attended Cornelius Hedges grade School, Central Jr High and Flathead County High School. Don was a WWII veteran joining the navy right out of High School. He trained as a Seabee and spent time in the South Pacific developing his skills in construction. After his tour of duty he returned home and began working for Monarch Lumber where he learned cabinet making. From Monarch Lumber Don partnered with Harold Vachal and started a cabinet making business known as The Cabinet Shop and later the Kalispell Truss Center. In 1953 he married Carla Herzog, adopting her two sons Terry and Tim. Don was devoted to his family and his amiable nature and sense of humor garnered him many lifelong friends and associations. He enjoyed working with young people and in 1951 he joined with his father, Louie, coaching in the fledgling Pee-Wee baseball program when another coach failed to show up. Don was a sports enthusiast but had never played organized baseball himself but rule book in hand he waded in. What followed were an amazing 43 consecutive years of tryouts, practices, games, local and traveling tournaments, and fund raising. When asked about his years of coaching he would downplay his role. He enjoyed reminiscing more about the various teams and boys than about win/loss records, championships or trophies. It was about the kids. Wherever you went with Don around town, you were bound to meet someone who had played or coached (or both) for him. And amazingly he would probably remember them and tell you something about them. A good husband and father…a good man. His life, a grand slam, he is safe at home plate. Don was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Caroline, wife Carla, sons Terry and Tim, his Brothers Fred and Burt and Sister Verda. He is survived by his granddaughter Angel Mae Fry, great granddaughter Layla Calhoun, Sister Carol Sloan, numerous nieces and nephews and extended family.
EPITAPH ON MY OWN FRIEND
An honest man here lies at rest;
As e’er God with his image blest;
The friend of man, the friend of truth;
The friend of age and friend of youth
Few hearts like his with virtue warm’d;
Few heads with knowledge so informed;
If there’s another world he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.