Elmer W. Fry, 92, Akron, WWII vet, engineer at Princeton, built scale models

By on October 7, 2015

Elmer W. Fry, 92, of Akron, passed away Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at Ephrata Manor.

He was the husband of Helen (Barr) Fry, with whom he was married for more than 70 years. They were married in Honeybrook on April 8, 1945. Born in Princeton Junction, N.J., he was a son of the late Edward W. and Beulah (Grover) Fry.

Elmer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1947 after returning from World War II. He proudly served in the U.S. Army stationed in the Philippine Islands near Manila and was trained in photogrammetry and topographic map making from aerial photographs. Elmer worked for Princeton University in the grounds and buildings department for 25 years from 1960 through 1985. He was in charge of supervising new construction and maintaining the physical plant of the university. Elmer also served in a similar role for the Corning, N.Y., School system from 1956 through 1960 and the Warren State Hospital in Warren County from 1948 through 1956.

He was a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ephrata. As a lifelong Interurban and trolley car enthusiast, Elmer was a builder of his own powered scale models and a collector of models of all ages and scales, including a retired Red Arrow Trolley from Philadelphia’s SEPTA system. He employed his map-making skills and engineering perspective to contribute to several historical books on Interurbans and trolleys. Elmer’s memberships support 10 society and museum organizations across the U.S.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons: Ben Israel, and wife Rebekah, of Boca Raton, Fla.; David Fry, and wife Valthea, of North Potomac, Md.; and Edward Fry, and wife Debbie, of Sugar Land, Texas; four granddaughters; and two grandsons.

Elmer was preceded in death by a brother: Edward Fry; and a sister: Ruth K. Fry.

The family expresses its heartfelt thanks to Walid Hammad for his constant, respectful care and companionship to Elmer. A compassionate care team that also included Kathy Fogie and Mary Downs enabled Elmer to live comfortably the last four years in his own home with his wife, Helen.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m., from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ephrata, 21 E. Locust St., Ephrata, with the Rev. Dwight McKay officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service at the church. Interment will be held at the convenience of his family.

In lieu of flowers, consider a contribution to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, P.O. Box 515, Northampton, MA 01061-0515.

Share online condolences at SnyderFuneralHome.com. Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory, Lititz, had charge of the arrangements.

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