William Frye


William Elliot Frye passed away Oct. 31, 2021, after an intense battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 81.

Born in Sylva, N.C., on Sept. 23, 1940, to Dudley Vandiver Frye and Maude Christine Pressley Frye, he had resided in Hendersonville, N.C., since 1999.

He was a first-generation college graduate from Western Carolina University and enjoyed his college experience so much that over the course of his life he obtained seven master’s degrees. In fact, education became his calling, and he served Stanly County Public Schools for 37 years in every capacity from bus driver to maintenance worker to principal, a model of unceasing and tireless labor to those around him.

It seemed, even into his old age, that he worked eight days a week while still finding time to observe the Sabbath. Such was his humility and natural, unassuming servant leadership that a visiting pastor who lodged with the family on a visit to Stanly County remarked upon returning home, “The best Christian I met there was Bill Frye, and he isn’t even a member of the church where I was preaching.”

That selfsame pastor later received Mr. Frye into his congregation upon his move to Hendersonville, where he and his wife helped raise their grandchildren. He has been a loyal member of the Hendersonville Church of Christ since that day and has volunteered his services to the church and its several affiliated ministries with the same industrious spirit that defined his work in education and indeed every part of his life. Up until the very end, when he was rendered nearly immobile by a hip injury and the cancer that would eventually claim him, he maintained his property with a cleanliness that could be held alongside Godliness, as the old saying goes.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Linda Frye, and their daughter, Wendy Frye, as well as two grandsons, Sam and Luke Edney, all of Hendersonville, N.C.; a brother, Gary Frye, of Sylva, N.C.; a nephew, Philip Frye (Courtney), and two great-nephews, Davis and Anderson Frye, all of Raleigh, N.C.

The folks listed above, as well as anyone who knew Mr. Frye, will forever remember the peerless spirit of industry, humility, charity and fidelity that marked his life and every deed thereof. Each can take pride in their relation to this exemplar of his faith and pillar of his community, a man who was truly “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” He was a teacher by example and as faithful a friend, loving a father and loyal a husband as this world has ever known.

The service will be held at the Hendersonville Church of Christ at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6. A visitation will take place an hour before the service.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the William Frye Scholarship Fund, Community Foundation of Henderson County, 401 N. Main St. #300, Hendersonville, NC 28792.

Obituary written by grandson Luke Edney.

Forest Lawn Funeral Home is assisting the family.