Francis William Fry Jr.

Francis William Fry Jr., 76, of Franklin, Pa., died on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the Golden Living Center in Oil City, Pa., after an extended period of ill health.

He was born on Aug. 2, 1939, and was the only child of the late Francis William Fry Sr. and Beatrice Schwabenbauer Fry.

He married Judith Ann Blair on May 16, 1958, and she survives.

Fran Fry had a long career as a journalist and photographer and was employed by the Oil City Derrick, the Franklin News-Herald and the Times Publishing Company in Erie. During his 26 years at the Times, Fry served as Director of Bureaus, as well as writing two regular columns, The Consumer Bag and the Frying Pan. He was well-known in the tri-county area for his travel and food writing.

Traveling and cooking were his favorite pastimes, and Fran and “Wife Judy” spent many years competing in chili and barbeque competitions throughout the United States and Canada. They also developed and sold a line of barbeque seasonings, rubs and sauces. The Frys were not only competitors, but were also certified barbeque judges through the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Fran always loved music. As a teenager, he was a DJ and played records for dances at the Franklin YMCA. He was an accomplished musician and played drums with several local bands. He also served as the secretary for the Oil City chapter of the American Federation of Musicians. 

After retiring from the Times, Fran and his wife began to spend winters in Lake Wales, Fla., where they have many friends.

He was of the Catholic faith and attended St. Patrick Church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Marjorie Fry of Conneautville, Pa., Patricia Hodson of Windham, Ohio, and Christopher Fry of Erie, Pa.; as well as four grandchildren, Linnea Nordstrom of Tromso, Norway, Walker Hodson of Windham, Ohio, Sarah Hodson of Windham, Ohio, and Emily Fry of Conneautville, Pa.; and a nephew, Don Bish of Los Angeles, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son and a niece, Stefani Lynn Bish.

At Fran’s request, there will be no visitation.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a later date in St. Patrick Church in Franklin and interment will be made in St. Patrick Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Huff Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 312 W. Park St. Franklin.

Memorial donations may be made to the Venango County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1045 Oil City, PA 16301; or the Franklin Salvation Army, 737 Elk St. Franklin, PA 16323.

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