Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Jack L. Fry, 73

| May 16, 2024 12:00 AM

Jack L. Fry, 73, died peacefully in his home on April 2, 2024. He was the only son of Fred Fry and Willie Caldwell.  

Born in Kalispell in 1950, Jack grew up an avid fisherman, hunter and outdoorsman and had a childhood filled with adventure and activity. He played youth baseball for “the KM” (Kalispell Mercantile), a team coached by his uncle, Don Fry, as part of the “Pee Wee” baseball league, a youth baseball organization started in the area with help from his grandfather Louis Fry.

He attended Flathead High School, where he played fullback for the H.S. Football team. After graduating in 1968, he attended Montana State at Bozeman into his sophomore year, and played for their football team as well. Although he didn’t continue with college, Jack remained a lifelong fan of the Bobcats.

After returning to Kalispell, Jack transferred to FVCC and began working at McIntosh Music. He married his high school sweetheart Sharla Loutherback, and fathered his only son, Eli Fry in the summer of 1970.  

A short time later, Jack began working with his father, Fred Fry at the Kalispell Bar and Wagon Wheel Lounge. A main street landmark for years with an impressive live fish tank behind the front window, stocked with local Trout from the area, and a memorable rock face wall outside made up of stones gathered from the old Fry family homestead near Chief Cliff in Elmo.

After he and Sharla’s divorce in 1979, Jack attended Alamon Telco lineman school and began his final career as a contract cable splicer, working for various phone companies in the western states.  

He remarried again in 1989 to Teri Olson, but unfortunately divorced again years later.  

His work took him to many areas, but he always considered himself a Montana native. He spent his retirement years back in Kalispell, his true home.

Throughout his life, Jack enjoyed fishing and hunting all throughout the Flathead Valley and greater Montana. He floated and fished the Flathead river countless times, first growing up with his father, and then later teaching his son the same.  

In his later years, Jack enjoyed spending his time reading, cooking, watching Montana college and youth teams play, and entertaining friends with a story at one of his favorite watering holes. He was quite the storyteller. He had a talent for it.

He is survived by his son, Eli and his granddaughter, Heidi.

In lieu of flowers, consider sending a donation to the Flathead High School booster club to fund help local school activities and athletic programs.   www.flatheadboosterclub.org