James Franklin Fry, 87, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, Jan. 1, 2019 in Country Meadow Care Center.
James was born Dec. 2, 1931 in rural Bellville to parents Lee M. and Thelma (Ruckman) Fry. He graduated from Bellville High School with the class of 1949, where he was captain of the varsity football and basketball teams.
After high school he proudly served his country by joining the U.S. Marines. His active duty was spent stateside where he was an aircraft engine mechanic. James was particularly proud to have served as Crew Chief on the plane that flew General Eisenhower, and of his sharp shooter ribbon. He remained a member of Irvin Hiskey Post #535 American Legion, Bellville.
On Oct. 22, 1950 he married Phyllis A. DeWitt, with whom he celebrated 68 years and raised three children. Before his illness he served as her dedicated caregiver.
James was proficient at many things including plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry and farming. He worked for ER Boliantz as a butcher, Stevens Manufacturing and other local companies in maintenance. James was a dedicated employee and retired from Empire Steel in 1994 with 25 years of service, where he was affectionately known as BossHog.
During these years he also worked alongside his father at Fry’s Equipment Repair and with his son Gary on the farm.
James was a member of Bellville Church of Christ. In his spare time, he took pleasure in woodworking, designing crafts and heirloom furniture. James enjoyed cooking meals for his family and also skinned, cleaned and dried hides from hunting and trapping for Gary.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis, children Gary and Bonnie Fry, Linda and Mark Molnar, and Janet (Dominique DiMaggio) Malcolm; five grandchildren Jackie (Kevin) Warren, Jason (Amber) Fry, Jesse Fry, Cati (Jason Karlen) Molnar, and Carl (Hima) Molnar; seven great grandchildren, sisters Florence Hunt and Mary Lee Kilgore.
James was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Barbara Rehmert.
His family will receive friends 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home, where a funeral service will follow at 3 p.m. Friday. Kyle Thompson will speak and burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery with American Legion Post # 535 of Bellville performing military honors.
The family would like to thank the staff of Country Meadow and Southern Care Hospice for their kindness and compassionate care. Memorial contributions in James’ memory to Southern Care Hospice may be made at the funeral home.