Fry remembered by friends

June 19, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Mark Alan Fry was a father to everyone and a stranger to no one, his friends said Wednesday.

Fry, 35, of Hagerstown, drowned when he went swimming with a friend in Antietam Creek Sunday. Although his friend made it to shore, Fry was missing until Wednesday afternoon when a few of his friends found his body and released it from a twisted logjam.

Fry's roommate Mike Swomley, 32, said "anybody loved him."

"He was the type of person who wouldn't hurt a fly and even if a fight came along he'd say 'the heck with it,'" Swomley said.

Joyce Curtis, 25, of Hagerstown, said she had known Fry for about seven or eight months because they both lived at Foxwood Apartments on Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown.


Curtis said it didn't matter that she only knew him for a short period of time. She felt like she had known him her whole life.

She said they went to bars and to a radio station's chili cook-off together.

His favorite band was Kiss, but he also liked Stevie Nicks and "older music like that," she said.

Fry had two cats, a white one named "Salt" and a black one named "Pepper," she said.

"He loved animals, but most of all he loved cats," she said.

Curtis got sick at a restaurant one night and Fry followed her into the women's restroom to hold back her hair. He ordered her a club sandwich because he thought it would settle her stomach, she said.

"He was a father to everyone," she said.

Curtis said Fry's son turned 17 this past week and Fry would have turned 36 on Sunday.

She said Fry was in a dart league and a pool league.

Rebecca Crismond, 23, of Hagerstown, also knew Fry from the apartment complex.

She said many of their friends would go to Hooligan's, a bar down the street from Foxwood Apartments, to shoot pool and drink.

Crismond and Curtis said he also liked to fish, golf, camp and ride motorcycles.

"Every day that it was nice outside, he was out there riding his bike," Curtis said.

Troy Moser, Jason Haupt, Mark "Woody" Smallwood Sr., Jeremy Shaffer, Josh Shaffer, Dan Shaffer, Will Surber and Tommy Bender, were all there for Fry Wednesday, Swomley said.

Curtis said Smallwood was at the creek looking for Fry day and night.

"He was not giving up," she said.

"He was one heck of a man," said Dan Shaffer, Fry's boss and owner of Olde Towne Masonry in Rohrersville. "He'd give you the shirt off his back."

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