Wesley Howard Fry
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Wesley Howard Fry, 96, Lenexa, Kansas passed away on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at Delmar Gardens of Lenexa.
Wesley was born in Labette County in Southeast Kansas as the first child of Albert and Grace Fry. His first eight years of schooling was in a one room rural grade school. He moved to Coffeyville and graduated from Field Kinley High School. He attended Coffeyville Junior College and received an associate engineering degree. In 1935, he married Elizabeth Harris. This union had one son, Kenneth Wesley Fry. After 38 years of marriage, Elizabeth preceded his in death in 1974. He began his working career for a steel fabrication plant. At the onset of World War II, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri and worked as a supervisor for the Darby Corp. building landing craft for the Navy. After the war ended, he worked as an estimator and field superintendent for Miller Brothers Construction Co. In 1959 he helped start Ace Excavating, Inc. and served as President and CEO until 1977 when he retired. During this period he held membership in Associated General Contractors of America and also Heavy Construction Association of Kansas City.
In 1946 he moved to Lenexa. He served on the City Council for eight years and was Mayor of Lenexa 1957 to 1959. In 1950 he was a member of the organizing committee for the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce and served as the Charter President in 1950-51. He later was a director of the Chamber and served as Vice President in 1975. In 1977, the Chamber and the City of Lenexa honored him for “Industry Leadership of the Year”.
He was a 60 year member of the Lenexa United Methodist Church where he was a past president of the Fisherman’s Club and served as a trustee and deacon. He was a 60 year member of the Lenexa Masonic Lodge where he served as master of the Masonic Lodge in 1953. He was a 60 year member of the Scottish Rite of Abdallah Shrine Temple where he was a charter member of the Shrine Motor Patrol, serving as director and president several years. He was an active rider in all parades and Shrine functions for over thirty years. He served as Worthy Patron of the Eastern Star in 1954 and 1961. He was Watchman of the Shepherd of the White Shrine in 1974. He had been a member of the Royal Order of Jesters for 25 years.
He was a member of the Lenexa Rotary Club, was a Paul Harris Fellow and served as President in 1983-84. During his year as president he helped organize the 4-Way Speech Contest using debate students from the Shawnee Mission and parochial high schools in this area. This proved to be very popular and in 1997 the Lenexa Rotary Club honored his by renaming the contest “The Wesley H. Fry Rotary Scholarship”. This was an honor of which he was extremely proud.
He is survived by his wife, Mabel, whom he married in 1976; one son, Kenneth Fry, of Merriam, Kansas; daughter-in-law, Mary Sue Fry, Lenexa, Kansas; three grandchildren, Kevin Fry, Lenexa, Kansas, Nicole Gupta and her husband, Mohan, Chicago, Illinois and Janeane Werner, her husband, Scott, Shawnee, Kansas; one step-son, Lawrence Dobbels and his wife, Judy of Mission, Kansas; five step-daughters, Rose Huff, Lenexa, Kansas, Loretta Randall, Olathe, Kansas, Joanne Gerfen and her husband, Warren of Shawnee, Kansas, Jane Claar of Lenexa, Kansas and Christine Sharp and her husband, Mike, of Shawnee, Kansas; 19 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister Maxine Erwin of Coffeyville, Kansas. His only brother, Norman, preceded his in death in 1996.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions to the Abdallah Shrine Crippled Children’s Transportation Fund or charity of your choice.
Funeral Service and Visitation
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 22, 2009 at the Lenexa United Methodist Church; burial in the Johnson County Memorial Gardens. Friends may call from 6-8 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at the Amos Family Chapel of Shawnee, where a Masonic Service will be at 7:00 pm and Rose Ceremony immediately following.