Nellie (Welch) & Bill Fry
William Franklin Fry
Born:   26 May 1924
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
1- U.S. Public Records Index
2- Social Security Index
3- Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005