Richard (Dick) Dean Fry
After a long battle with small cell bladder cancer, our husband, father and brother Dick passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, March 7, 2021 in Marathon, ON. He is survived by Frances (Maeba), his beloved wife of 52 years, his much-loved children, Joe (Louise) of Steveston, BC, and Sarah (Rob) Taniwa of Whitby, ON, and by his grandchildren Daniel and Maddy Fry and Aiden and Kai Taniwa who were all so dear to his heart. He is also survived by his sisters, Marilyn Campbell of Iowa City, IA, and Shirley Fry of Wallaceburg, ON, nephews Dean Campbell of Gatineau, QC, David Campbell of Lititz, PA, and cousin Gordon (Jane) Fry of Chatham, ON.
We want to recognize and thank extended family members Miki Maeba and Dan Gillis, Carol (predeceased) and Joe Audia, Paul Maeba, Grace and Robert Trudeau, Peter and Jeanette Maeba and their families, childhood friend Ed Riedl and his wife Odra, university classmate Dave Bird and his wife Elizabeth, and fellow Marathonians Della and Jerry Manuel, Stan and Bev Johnson, and Lloyd and Janice Samec for their friendship over many decades, and for their support and encouragement during Dick’s illness.
Born November 16, 1941 in Chatham, Dick was the son of the late Dean and Catherine (Howard) Fry and spent his formative years in Wallaceburg. He then attended the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto where he graduated with a BScF in 1965. During his 37-year career as a Professional Forester, he worked in various positions for the Ministry of Natural Resources in Geraldton, Longlac and Manitouwadge, as Chief Forester for American Can in Marathon, and finally as Chief Forester for Buchanan Forest Products in Manitouwadge before retiring in 2002. He was a former member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association and the Ontario Forestry Association. At the time of his passing, he was a Silver member of the Society of American Foresters and a 55-year member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry. He was presented with the CIF’s Tree of Life Award in 2000 for “notable contributions to sustainable forest resource management.”
During his lifetime, he was a volunteer with various figure skating clubs, minor hockey organizations and curling clubs, including Skate Canada, where he served for over 25 years as a Data Specialist, the Marathon Communities-In-Bloom Committee, and the Marathon & District Historical Society. He served a term as a Director on the Board of Wilson Memorial Hospital in Marathon. An avid gardener, he spent hours working in his garden and, as a card-carrying member of The Meconopsis Group, he had a particular interest in raising several varieties of Himalayan blue poppies. He also enjoyed photography, woodworking, and spending time during the summer at the family cottage he built (with the help of family and friends) at Wildgoose Lake near Geraldton. After retirement, parts of many winters were spent in and around the village of Carvoeiro in Southern Portugal where he and Fran made many friends over the years.
We are all so thankful for the quality of medical care provided to Dick by Drs. Prowse, Ibrahim, Ramchandar and Simpson of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. We would specifically like to express our immense gratitude to the many health care providers in Marathon, including oncology nurse Jordon Rochon, Dr. Eliseo Orrantia, and clinic, hospital and home care staff including Christine, Eva, Chelsea, and Candace for their remarkable professionalism and care. Lastly, special thanks to Tammy Nutbrown, Sarah’s sister-in-law, for the extraordinary comfort and guidance she offered Dick and the family particularly through the late stages of his illness.
In accordance with Dick’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. Cremation has taken place and there will be a graveside service for family and friends for the burial of his remains in Pinegrove Cemetery in Geraldton at a later date. Should you wish, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Wilson Memorial Hospital, or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.
As a young university student, Dick completed several summer work placements in northern Ontario, including at Macdiarmid, where he and Fran first met, and where he wrote this poem which epitomizes his lifelong love for family, home and career.
There they grow.
Mist blue on the high, wind blown rocks.
Only dry lichen
Or some stunted jack
Dare trespass this domain.
I love them,
And the country;
One by mouth,
One by heart,
Both by taste.
Richard Fry, 1961
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