Nevin N. Fry (1922-2018)


TIFFIN, Ohio — Nevin N. “Norman” Fry, founder, owner, and operator of a major Tiffin food company, died Aug. 21 at Mercy Health Tiffin Hospital. He was 96.

He suffered from high blood pressure, his daughter, Beverly Fry, said.

Mr. Fry and his his wife, Eleanor, started Fry Foods Inc., mushroom growers and processors, in 1961. The company, which stopped growing mushrooms in the 1980s, now produces a complete line of breaded and battered snacks such as onion rings and cheese sticks for domestic consumption and export to Canada and overseas.

“He always had a finger in the business. He never totally walked away from it. He started it and he wasn't giving it up for anything,” Miss Fry said.

“He was always interested in the people who worked there,” she said. “And he was also interested in people period. And he always had a drive to make the business grow.” 

Mr. Fry was born Aug. 5, 1922, in Bettsville, Ohio, to Nevin and Leona Fry.

He married Eleanor Frankenfield in 1948. She died in 2009.

In 1941, Mr. Fry graduated from Bettsville High School. He later attended Heidelberg College for about a year and then mushroom-growing seminars at Pennsylvania State University, “for the love of mushrooms,” his daughter said.

In his free time, he liked to walk a minimum of three miles a day around Tiffin, weather permitting, or else at his manufacturing facility. He also enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Europe.

Mr. Fry was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Tiffin, where he volunteered for multiple boards.

His other memberships included area masonic lodges.

He was preceded in death by a son, Robert Fry.

Surviving are his sons, Phillip and David Fry; daughter, Beverly Fry, and two granddaughters.

Funeral services will be private.

Arrangements are by Hoffmann-Gottfried-Mack Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mike Sigov at sigov@theblade.com419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.