James Frye (Jim), 71 of Port St. Lucie, Florida, formerly of Saginaw Michigan, passed away on September 19, 2021.
He was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 28, 1950 He was the oldest son of Jack and Elaine Frye, and the husband of Julie Bennett Frye, who passed in 1999.
He leaves behind his wife Easter Hartley-Frye, daughter Kaitlyn, her husband Ryan, and their son Kyle Grai, Jim’s only grandchild. Stepdaughters Shannon Wells of Fellsmere and her husband Brad, Rebecca Hartley-Woods and her husband Jim of Valrico along with several step-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his sister Cathy Nusz, with her husband Denny of Port St. Lucie. Brother Mike and his wife Karen of Salem, South Carolina. Sister Jackie Gould of Huston, Texas, brother Dan of Nowthen, Minnesota, and brother Scott of Clover, South Carolina.
He has many nephews and nieces who will miss him greatly, plus the many friends he has here in Florida and Michigan.
Born in Michigan, but growing up in North Dakota for the first 12 years of his life he used to talk about the true three-room schoolhouse he attended with his siblings. His father was a manager of a wildlife refuge so living in the middle of nowhere became the norm for the Frye family.
From Minot, North Dakota to Seney, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, the land was beautiful and cold. It was often thirty miles to the nearest grocery store; with only 1 channel black and white television, no internet, no cell phones before moving to Florida in 1985.
Before moving to Florida, he worked with Saginaw County Road Commission where he started on the dumb side of the shovel and soon climbed to be their Senior Roadway Inspector and their Project Manager of Federal Projects. After his move to Florida, Jim was a Civil Engineer working for RS& H and other engineering firms up until his retirement in 2013.
He could not replace a doorknob, but he could build a bridge or pave a road. He could tell you many stories about the highways and bridges he worked on here in Florida and Michigan.
Jim always said he loved anything that had a ball: football, baseball, golf, basketball, bowling, or pool. He played fantasy football and fantasy baseball for over 20 years, taking pride in the fact most of the time he was competing for first place.
He coached his daughter’s softball team for many years; spending many evenings coaching and helping the girls with their homework. His rules – 1) If your grades were not up, your playing time went down and 2) The coach is always right!
Prior to moving to Florida, he played recreation softball and football in several leagues in Michigan for 15 years, making friendships that remained with him for life. But his greatest love was The Michigan State Spartans: he forgot more than most people could ever learn about football. But then he never forgot anything… Ask him about any team at any point in time, and he knew the answer.
The only thing that he truly loved that did not have a ball was Classic Rock. Neil Young and The Eagles were his favorite. He knew most songs and who played or sang them. It did not have a ball, but vinyl records of his day were round like balls.
After his retirement, he purchased a home in Murphy, NC. He loved the mountains, the quiet, and watching all of the wildlife. He spent as much time as he could in the mountains, making new friends and exploring the back roads.
It was reminiscing of when he was younger growing up in North Dakota. When his doctor told him he was too ill to be that far from his family and physician it was with great reluctance the decision to part with his home in the mountains that he loved.
He was very competitive and never quit striving to win. For 2 ½ years, he fought cancer, but this was one game he could not win. He will be greatly missed.