California. She was born on January 17, 1926 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. She was the
youngest of 5 children born to Senith Susanna (Stockton) and Joseph Smith. Shortly
before her birth, her father passed away and her mother later married Jim Watkins and
they had two more children along with his three from a previous marriage. They had a
blended family of 10 children, and all but the two oldest daughters, made their way to
California during the great depression. They eventually made it to the Woodlake area
where Ila Jean met Leo Fry. They were married on June 24, 1943 and spent the next 64
years together, until Leo’s passing in 2007. Leo and Jean raised 4 daughters and 2
sons together. Jean worked at FJ White in Woodlake for over 25 years as the famous
“Lunch Lady. She was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Woodlake
Kiwanis Club in 2016. This turned out to be an entire community coming together with
the Woodlake Lions Club providing transportation and showering her with a huge
bouquet of white roses. She was treated like a queen and talked about it for weeks.
Although, a prestigious honor, Jean is most notably remembered for the legacy of love
and unfailing loyalty she had for kids, grandkids and great grandkids. She loved her
family time and when loved ones would stop by for a visit. Jean will always be
remembered for her spunky, spit-fire, tough as nails, and amazing personality. Jean
enjoyed spending time with her grandkids and great grandkids. She often could be
found playing in the dirt alongside the grandkids, singing songs and just enjoying being
with them. She always made sure there was plenty of food, and always insisted on
making you a little samich and a Pepsi to take home.
Ila Jean is preceded in death by her husband Leo Edward Fry, Son Steve Fry,
Grandson Christopher Souza and Son-in-Law Rod Hartman.
She is survived by her children Sharon (Lloyd) Claytor of Shingletown, CA., Sheila Hartman
of Exeter, CA., Scharlotte (Richard) Souza of Exeter, CA., Janet (Curtis) McCoy of Tulare, CA.
and Chuck (Lesley) Fry of Lemon Cove, CA and daughter-in-law Shauna Blaszak of Kingsburg, CA. She also has 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren with one more on the way!
Celebration of Life services will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 12 Noon at Miller Memorial Chapel, 134 Cypress Avenue in Woodlake, CA.
Tributes and condolences may be made at www.millermemorialchapel.com.
Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 11120 W. Goshen Avenue, Visalia, CA (559) 732-8371.