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Dorothy Marie Fry

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Dorothy Marie Fry Obituary
Fry, Dorothy Marie 12/16/1920 ~ 06/14/2013 SAN DIEGO -- Dorothy died on Flag Day, ten years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and three years after being placed in the care of the folks at Renown Health Care. She was born in Hilger, Montana, on December 16, 1920, to John and Marie Benes Schaeffer. John was killed in a gun accident in 1924 leaving Marie to raise Dorothy, older brother Jack and younger brother Tom. Dorothy's fondest memories were of growing up in Charles Russell country, the wheat lands of central Montana. The family eventually moved to nearby Lewistown when it was time for the children to attend high school. Dorothy graduated at age 16 and, armed with an expertise at typing and shorthand, eventually made her way to Tacoma, Washington, as war clouds loomed in Europe. It was there that she met John Jefferson "Jeff" Fry, one of three brothers stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. When the Navy sent him to school in Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1942, she followed him there and they married. Convoy Duty in the Atlantic meant a move to Jacksonville, Florida, for Dorothy, where son John Jefferson Fry, Jr. was born in October 1943. Long Beach was the next duty station where daughter Victoria Marie Fry was born at the Long Beach Naval Hospital in August 1946. Two years later it was on to San Diego, where the young family called a Quonset Hut at 32nd Street Naval Base home. It wasn't long before a quarter of an acre on Olive Drive in Spring Valley sported a Fry's Corral sign in front. Jeff was just getting to enjoy the one goat, two geese, and assorted rabbits and chickens when he received orders to Guam. Dorothy sold the farm, took everyone to Balboa Naval Hospital for their "shots" then waited for orders -- and waited. In the meantime the family bunked with family and friends while John attended 2nd Grade at Bancroft Elementary, Brooklyn Elementary, Dewey Elementary, Adams Elementary and, finally -- in April 1951 -- Washington Elementary in Guam. Life in the South Pacific hit a speed bump in September when John contracted polio. It was December before he was well enough to be flown back to the "States" in a MATS C-54 litter plane filled with Korean War wounded. Dorothy and Vicki followed in a separate plane. John spent several months at the old Children's Hospital on Ocean View Blvd. Jeff was ordered to the Naval Training Center as a Company Commander where, after only a short time, he ruptured a lung and was retired from the Navy on a medical discharge. For a while in 1952 Dorothy was visiting her husband at Naval Hospital and son at Children's hospital. Eventually the family found a house on Alexia Place, the Normal Heights home Dorothy would live in for nearly six decades. Dorothy worked as a secretary for the March of Dimes while Jeff attended San Diego Junior College. He eventually went to work as a draftsman at Ryan Aeronautical. His lung problems worsened and he developed bronchitis, then emphysema. He died unexpectedly in September 1964. Dorothy found work at the Education Center, serving as secretary to various directors of the Audio-Visual Department before retiring in 1984. Unable to sit still, Dorothy established a very successful home business typing term papers, Master's theses and doctoral dissertations. She enjoyed getting together for lunch with her old Ed Center pals and often traveled with them. Fran Kennedy drove with her to Lewistown for Dorothy's 50th Anniversary High School reunion. In later years friends moved and passed away, but Dorothy was able to enjoy visits from Vicki's children, Siobhan and Aaron, as well as Siobhan's daughter Dulci. When she no longer had a car, longtime across- the-street neighbor Pauline Kelly would drive them to the BBQ Pit on Fletcher Parkway which, incidentally, had a 31 Flavors Ice Cream store next door. She still made dinner for son John several times a week. At least once a week they would dine at Anthony's Fish Grotto where they were shown to "their" table. The family would like to say a special thank you to Roger, Maria, and Saira, at Renown Health Care, who took special care of her to the end.
Published in U-T San Diego on June 23, 2013
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