Nellie (Welch) & Bill Fry
Nellie (Welch) & Bill Fry

George Louis Fry
Ruth Edna Hawkins

William Franklin Fry

Born:    26 May 1924   Lafayette, Indiana
Died:    19 Jan 2008   Stockton, San Joaquin, California

Spouse:   Nellie Pearl Welch
Born:   11 Dec 1924   Died: 15 Jul 199
Married:   16 June 1942   Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon

Children of Nellie (Welch) and William Fry:
Living Son
Living Son
Living Daughter
Living Daughter

A brief history of William Franklin Fry

William Franklin Fry was born to Ruth Edna (Hawkins) and George Louis Fry on 26 May 1924 in Lafayette, Indiana. "Bill" was the oldest child, with his sister Anna born in 1926, Kenneth George in 1928, and Doris Jean in 1931.

It was the time of Prohibition, and George engaged in running alcohol. Bill remembered his father kept a special car locked away for important times. Then he would slide that new and powerful car out because he could outrun all of the police cars. However, one day his luck ran out, and the police created a blockade and captured him. George went to prison, and the once happy and prosperous family was left destitute and at the mercy of the welfare state.   [Researcher Note: The 1930 census shows George as an inmate at the Indiana Reformatory in Fall Creek, Madison, Indiana. However, I cannot locate Bill or his mother and siblings in the census.]

Bill learned early how to work hard and be the man of the house. Bill worked in the fields to earn money for his support. On one such venture, in the strawberry fields in Oregon, Bill noticed a lovely girl amongst the berries, and determined to meet her. He filled her baskets with strawberries, and the love that blossomed between them lasted for a lifetime.

William Franklin Fry and Nellie Pearl Welch were married on 16 June 1942 in Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon. Nellie was born December 11, 1924 to Lillie Pearl (Wiley) and Richard Raymond Welch in Campo, Baca County, Colorado.

Nellie and Bill owned and operated William Fry Trucking. It grew from a single truck business into a vibrant commercial operation. Nellie organized the day-to-day business end of the company while Bill drove, repaired and managed the trucks. Their trucking venture lasted 50 years.

The Fry's eldest son was born in 1943 and was followed by another son and two daughters [all living]. Early on in their children's lives, they began a tradition of taking the family to Santa Cruz yearly for vacation, which became a living family legacy for their children and grandchildren. Bill and Nellie encouraged their children to explore their interests and supported their endeavours with enthusiasm and with financial support. The Fry's purchased a cabin in South Lake Tahoe, so they could take their children and grandchildren away from the constant ringing of the telephone for a respite from their vibrant trucking operations.

Nellie developed a severe case of Parkinson's disease, which ravaged this once vivacious woman. Bill sacrificed beyond what one would think possible, still driving truck into his 70's in order to provide Nellie the care she needed in order to keep her in her home throughout her illness.

Nellie passed away July 15, 1998. She was interred in Rural Cemetery in Stockton, California.

Having worked so hard to take care of his Nellie, Bill Fry felt blessed to fall in love once again to his "Gloria". They were married in Reno, Washoe County, Nevada on July 28, 1998. Bill Fry died on January 19, 2008 with his family by his side at Hospice House of San Joaquin County. He was buried in Rural Cemetery in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.

[Researcher Note: My Uncle Bill was one of those people that you can't help but like. He was big and boisterous and full of life. He liked nothing more than a lot of family around him and lively discussions.

Uncle Bill would invite one of his kids to ride with him on a short haul, usually with produce. It was an adventure to remember. Often Uncle Bill would come home with a crate of produce and we would eat fruit until we were ready to explode. I remember a fantastic watermelon fight when all of us kids were covered with sticky red juice and grins from ear to ear.

Dinner with the Frys often meant a meaty stew, something that would stick with you through a long day. In his later years, Uncle Bill developed a penchant for cooking. Morning was his time for making omelets that would fill the house with the aroma of sizzling vegetables. Anything left over in the refrigerator was ripe for tossing into the pot. Eating with Bill was a treat to be looked forward to.

Uncle Bill was a man of integrity


Dearest Bill, I love you,
Happy Anniversary!
Thoughts of our fifty years together
fills my memory.

I remember 50 years ago
when you took me for your wife,
you were chasing lovely rainbows
in the springtime of your life.

Although our pocket books were empty,
we didn't have a care,
for we knew how to work hard
and we found a job out there.

But life was never easy
and troubles followed too,
a baby burns with fever
and the bills are overdue.

Through the good times and the bad
you were always there for me,
like a beacon light a shining
to one who's lost at sea.

Looking back upon those years
I wouldn't trade a one,
I know we had our troubles
but we had a lot of fun!

God loaned us precious gifts
with joy more than I can tell,
there was Billie Joe, Johnny Mike,
Marcia and Michelle.

Remember baby's first tooth
and how they learned to walk,
there was that first hair cut
and baby learned to talk.

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League,
Ballet and Baton too,
Soapbox Derby and fishing trips,
to mention just a few

Skiing, skating, and mountain hikes
and two legs that had to break,
Two collar bones went snap one day
and Johnny falls into the lake.

There were pet dogs, a pigeon, hamsters
guinea pigs and a cat,
rabbits, turtles, birds,
and a rat they called "rattie-tatt."

There was church camps and Disneyland
Proms and Graduations,
Dates, and rings and you know. . .
Wedding bells and Congratulations.

As each child grew up and married
we didn't lose a one,
they brought into our family circle
another daughter or son.

Then our blessings come again
from heaven up above,
God gave us precious grandchildren
to have, to hold, and to love.

So I want to thank you dear
for fifty years with me,
and if God grants I'll spend
with you all of eternity!

Dearest Bill, I love you!
Your Wife, Nellie

Research References:

1- U.S. Public Records Index
Name: William F Fry
Birth Date: May 1924
[Jan 1964]
Phone Number: 478-3971
Address: 2256 Estate Dr, Stockton, California 95209-0701 (1993)
[6035 Gettysburg Pl #S, Stockton, California 95207-0701 (1980)]

Source Information: U.S. Public Records Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009. Original data: Merlin Data Publishing Corporation, comp. Historical Residential White Page, Directory Assistance and Other Household Database Listings. Merlin Data Publishing Corporation, 215 South Complex Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901.

2- Social Security Index
Name: William F. Fry
SSN: 556-36-9042
Last Residence: 95204 Stockton, San Joaquin, California, United States of America
Born: 26 May 1924
Died: 19 Jan 2008
State (Year) SSN issued: California (Before 1951)

Source Citation: Number: 556-36-9042;Issue State: California;Issue Date: Before 1951. Source Information: Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

3- Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005
Name: William Fry
Gender: Male
Residence state: California
Spouse: Gloria Joan Santini
Spouse residence state: California
Marriage Date: 26 Jul 1998
Marriage County: Washoe
Recorded date: 3 Aug 1998
Recorded city: Reno
Book: 1002
Page: 1570
Instrument number: MA98-13200

Source Information: Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: # Nevada State Health Division, Office of Vital Records. Nevada Marriage Index, 1966-2005. Carson City, Nevada: Nevada State Health Division, Office of Vital Records. # Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau. Clark County, Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-1966. Las Vegas, Nevada: Clark County, Nevada Marriage Bureau.