Harry F. Fryar Jr.
February 11, 1924 – November 7, 2018
Harry F. Fryar Jr. passed away in his sleep on Nov. 7, 2018, at Accel at Longmont after a battle with liver cancer. He was 94. He was born Feb. 11, 1924, to Harry and Juanita Fryar in Ravenwood, Missouri and graduated from Ravenwood High School before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he wound up serving as the belly gunner in a B-24 Liberator that flew 50 World War II bombing missions over Italy and Europe in 1944. Harry finished his service with a stateside assignment at Lowry Field in Denver, where he met his wife, Ann Diehl of Stratton, Nebraska, who was working at Denver's Union Station. They were married on Aug. 6 , 1945. Harry and Ann had five children: sons John, Richard, and Thomas and daughters Teresa and Kristie. The family lived at various times in Stratton, Broken Bow and Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and Ames, Iowa before Harry and Ann moved to Longmont in 1979. Harry owned and operated a service station in Stratton before becoming a salesman for Standard Oil products, later as a salesman for B&C Steel and an executive for a construction equipment company before eventually selling products for the Boone, Iowa-based branch of Quinn Machine and Foundry, before retiring in 1990. He did not talk about his World War II experiences until later in life but had kept a journal and recorded, in an 18-year-old man's words, the horrific, yet patriotic reasons why he and so many did what they did in 1944. He and a next-door Longmont neighbor, Michael Roush, put together a detailed account of why-where-when he served. According to an article his son Richard wrote for the Longmont Times-Call as Veterans Day approached in 2012, Harry said that needed to be done "to give my two sisters and two brothers and me an account of our dad during those years." His two B-24 bombers were named SAKINSHACK and JESSE JAMES. He was part of the 451st Bombardment Group H of the 724th Squadron and was proud of the fact that his squadron won two Presidential Unit Citations. "From a farm boy in Ravenwood, Mo., to a wise great-grandfather in Colorado, he truly is a wonderful example of "The Greatest Generation," Richard wrote. Harry was preceded in death by his parents, wife Ann, who died on Jan. 15, 1990, and son Richard, who died on July 25, 2017. Survivors include: sons John Fryar, of Longmont, Colorado; Msgr. Thomas Fryar of Centennial, Colorado; daughter Teresa Laird and her husband, Rox Laird, of Des Moines, Iowa; daughter Kristie Becker and her husband Jim Becker, of Keizer, Oregon; daughter-in-law Terri Fryar, Richard's wife, of Highlands Ranch, Colorado; and Harry's sister Mary Fender, of Blue Springs, Missouri -- as well as six grandchildren: Graham, Ross and Hannah Laird in Iowa;, Mark and Brad Becker in Oregon, and Marcie Miller of Highlands Ranch, and six great-grandchildren. Harry also is survived by longtime special friend Suzy Hudziak of Longmont, and Hudziak's children and grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m Thursday, Nov. 15, at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, 3791 Pike Road, Longmont. Inurnment with military honors will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Mountain View Cemetery, 620 11th Ave., Longmont.
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church
3791 Pike Road
Longmont Mountain View Cemetery
Harry F. Fryar Jr.
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