Robert Luther Fry, former science teacher at Newport Harbor High School (1959-1981) and Corona del Mar High School (1981-1988), former Ranger Naturalist at Yosemite National Park, died on December 6, 2010, of a sudden heart attack after surviving cancer and major surgery.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marilyn Fry, a faculty member of Coastline Community College since it opened in 1976. He is also survived by his sister, Carolyn Denham of Walnut Creek, and by his three children: Gretchen Fry Harvey and Ronald Fry of Costa Mesa and Stephen Fry of Hermosa Beach. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, Heather Dolter Cheney Brown, Samantha Cheney Beason, Molly Cheney Patten, Ted Fry, Melissa Starr, and Jeffrey Fry, and four great-grandchildren, Nate Brown, Owen Brown, Riley Beason, and Trent Beason.
Bob was born on April 1, 1930, in McNary, Arizona, and grew up in Williams, Arizona. The family moved to Omo Ranch, California, when he was 12 and a few years later to nearby Sutter Creek, where Bob attended Sutter Creek High School and was president of his senior class. He then went to UC Berkeley, where he earned two BA degrees (Philosophy and Zoology), an MA in Botany, and a teaching credential.
August 22, 1952, Bob married Marilyn Lockyer, whom he met while they were both attending UC Berkeley. In 1953-1954, Bob served in the US Army in Germany as a lieutenant and was later promoted to captain.
In 1959, Bob, Marilyn, and their three young children moved to Newport Beach, where Bob began his teaching career. He also became a seasonal Ranger Naturalist in Yosemite the following summer. The family would spend their winter months living in Orange County and their summer months living in Yosemite. After retiring from teaching, he continued working as a Yosemite Ranger and also worked on a special project with the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, where he visited all the elementary schools and the Environmental Nature Center, demonstrating Indian skills to children.
A Celebration of the Life of Bob Fry will be held at the Harbor Lawn Mount Olive Mortuary at 1625 Gisler Avenue, Costa Mesa, California 92626, at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 29, 2010.
Donations in his name can be sent to Yosemite Conservancy, 155 Montgomery Street, Suite 1104, San Francisco, California 94104: yosemiteconservancy.org.