Dorothy Nadine Fry
April 4, 1926 – February 10, 2022
A force of nature named Dorothy Nadine Fry came into this world on a snowy Easter Sunday, April 4th, 1926. The youngest of six children born to Frankie L. and George C. Underwood of Waukomis, Oklahoma, Dorothy survived whooping cough, a conk on the head with a baseball bat, the Great Depression, the sometimes not-so-gentle attentions of her siblings and a lightning strike to a car in which she was a passenger in the opening scenes of a long, joyful life.
Her first loves at a young age were basketball and music. Times being what they were, a basketball career was not in the cards, so she chose to attend Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, as a music major. While attending Phillips, she met Ruth Carroll, her lifelong friend, which in turn led her to meet Ruth’s boyfriend, Thayne Hedges, which then led her to meet the love of her life, Paul Fry, which then led to a marriage that lasted 50 years.
Paul and Dorothy’s first stop as a married couple was Dorothy’s hometown of Waukomis, where she helped Paul with the music program. They eventually made their way to Okeene, Oklahoma, where Dorothy continued that role as well as working at a local bank. During their time in Okeene they made many dear friends, with whom they kept in contact for decades. Eventually, the bright lights of Clinton, Oklahoma, called to the young couple, and they moved there in the early 1950s. They became such a part of that community that Dorothy remained a member of the same Clinton bridge club for over 50 years.
Dorothy gave birth to her only child, Patrick, in October 1957. She was not only a great mother but began developing a business as a seamstress, upholsterer and drapery maker. When the family moved to Chickasha in 1963, she took a job as the Social Director for the Oklahoma College for Women — which basically involved making arrangements for and then chaperoning dances when soldiers from Fort Sill came to Chickasha to mix with the students of OCW.
Another career change for Paul led to Dorothy, Paul and Patrick moving to Weatherford, Oklahoma, where Dorothy lived happily for 55 years. She filled those years with family, church and community. She attended every single activity in which Patrick participated through high school and taught him to play “The Spanish Flea” on piano in one night when Paul was out of town. She may have regretted this when Patrick played “The Spanish Flea” every time he sat down at a piano over the next 8 years.
Dorothy’s life was full of variety: supporting SWOSU men’s and women’s basketball teams, including trips to watch the women win their national championships; playing organ and directing choirs in churches in Weatherford and Clinton; playing piano and directing music at the Southwest Playhouse in Clinton; going to OU football games with Paul; drinking Coca Cola and playing bridge; drinking coffee and playing bridge; just playing bridge; delivering meals on wheels to seniors 15 years her junior; chaperoning SWOSU marching band trips to professional football games; teaching English to non-English speakers; sewing wedding dresses for friends and relatives; building a dome home with Paul just outside Weatherford; accompanying mid-school instrumental soloists up into her 90’s; driving to Albuquerque to see Zachary and Hannah, her grandchildren and most favorite people in her life; organizing music for state PEO conventions; white water rafting with Paul and later with her grandchildren; owning a Montgomery Ward sales agency; working as a secretary for an occupational and physical therapy clinic for young children; watching Stephen Curry and the Golden State warriors play basketball on TV.
Dorothy’s bright light was extinguished on Thursday, February 10, 2022. We will all miss her. If you wish to honor Dorothy, please consider a gift to either Feed the Children or the SWOSU Instrumental Music Scholarship Fund.
Dorothy is survived by her son, Patrick Fry and his wife, Joan Rebecchi, of Albuquerque, NM, and her 2 grandchildren, Hannah and Zack, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; her parents; 3 brothers, Harris, James and Harold; and 2 sisters, Shirley and Frances.
Published on February 19, 2022