Victor's Story

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Services celebrating the life of Victor A. Fry, Sr. will be 2 p.m. Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the First Christian Church. Reverend Charles Ragland will officiate. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Wednesday afternoon from 1-7 with family receiving visitors from 5-7 p.m. The hour between 1 p.m. until service time on Thursday has also been set as a time of visitation at the church for those unable to come to the funeral home. Victor passed away Saturday evening, Feb. 27, 2016 in a Tulsa hospital. He was 89. Born Nov. 23, 1926, Victor Anderson Fry was one of two sons born to Merritt Leroy and Maggie Ann (Culver) Fry. He was born at the family home in Verdigris and spent his boyhood in the area of his birth. He received his education at Verdigris schools until his senior year when he transferred to Claremore, graduating with the Claremore High School class of 1944. Following his school years, Vic worked first for the state and later for a steel company before joining the Merchant Marines. Though that branch of service was virtually unrecognized for many years, Vic and others like him sacrificially served their country on foreign soil. While Vic was serving in the Philippines he was able to unite with his brother Bourke, also a serviceman during the same time. This reunion gave two lonely soldiers a much needed boost. Vic also often told a story about being so far from home on a Christmas Eve when the unit was offered a movie to view. It was a godsend for this Oklahoma boy to discover the movie was about Claremore, Oklahoma, staring its favorite son, Will Rogers. After receiving his first honorable discharge from the Merchant Marines, Vic enlisted once again, serving with the U.S. Army. While there he was an expert rifleman, teaching other soldiers to perfect the skill. Though his superiors encouraged him to make a career in the military, Vic knew he was ready to return home. A return to Claremore brought Vic to a need to make a career decision. He first thought he’d become a home builder and constructed a house on Will Rogers Boulevard. When he and his brother decided they’d go into business together, forming the Fry Propane Company, Vic used the proceeds from the sale of the house he built as his down payment. Opening on January 1, 1950, soon the Fry brothers provided propane to most of the county. The thirty years they spent in business together brought many rich rewards for both — it was a strengthening bond for two hard working men. While Mary Jane Kincade was a senior in high school, she worked at a local drug store. Vic found that store the perfect place to visit at every opportunity. This handsome young man — eight years Mary Jane’s senior — didn’t get a date in those early years, but he was successful a little bit later when he needed a good book keeper and secretary. Though she had a very good job working for J. Paul Getty, Mary Jane chose to take a pay cut to help Vic. As the two began to work together, that overdue courtship began. Vic and Mary Jane left work early on April 26, 1954 and drove to Muskogee after Vic’s invitation of “Well, let’s just go get married.” Home for the Fry’s has been Claremore all through the years. And they have been comfortable in the home Vic built for his family that grew to he and Mary Jane and their three children. Vic was very proud of his heritage, coming from a family of great accomplishments. His mother was the poet laureate for the state of Oklahoma for many years. Just last year Vic was able to attend the ceremony inducting his mother, Maggie Culver Fry posthumously into the Rogers County Hall of Fame. He was also proud to have recently read the book “The Rough Riders” by Theodore Roosevelt and found that his maternal grandfather Ed Culver was mentioned as one of those rough riders. Vic got the most out of every aspect of his life. He loved hunting and fishing, with many fishing trips taking him to both Canada and Alaska. He was an avid OU Sooner fan and would be content with nothing less than winning seasons. He loved to read history, especially that which threaded through his own family heritage. In recent years he became addicted to going to antique sales and auctions with his son, Vic, Jr. Though the exterior was tough, Vic had a soft and giving heart. He was always there for his family. Those family members who survive are his wife Mary Jane Fry of the home, children, Linda Kay Womack of Claremore and Victor A. Fry, Jr. of Tulsa, grandson, Ronnie Joe of Claremore and several nieces and nephews. Vic was preceded in death by his parents, his brother and daughter, Jana Lee Fry.
Published on  March 2, 2016
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