Gail E. Frye
Camden — Gail E. Frye, beloved husband, father and Grampie Oudie, passed away Feb. 22, 2014, of complications from an unexpected illness.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Roberta V. Frye, formerly of Cape Elizabeth, his daughters Laurel A. Frye of Belfast and Holly L. Frye Columbus, son-in-law Chris Columbus, and granddaughter Alexandra A. Ye Frye Columbus, all of Litchfield, N.H.
The son of Stanley Alexander Frye of Camden, and Doris Edna Smith of Hollis Center, Gail was born June 23, 1932, at his grandparents’ house in Hollis Center. It was a difficult birth and his grandmother, Laura Smith, a midwife, called in the local doctor for assistance, while his father sat on the back steps in tears.
Gail was a gracious man, known for his quick smile and positive attitude. Always ready with a helping hand, his mother often remarked that “as a toddler he’d go up to complete strangers on the street, smile and say ‘hi’.”
Raised in Camden, he wandered the Camden Hills with friends and attended the local schools where he played trombone in the school band. He graduated from Camden High School in 1950. Then, following in his parents’ footsteps, he attended Gorham State Teachers College where he continued to play the trombone and became a member of the Omega Nu Epilson fraternity. He graduated in 1954 with a bachelors degree in education, later going on to complete his master’s degree.
While attending Gorham he met his life-long love, Roberta M. Verrill. They were wed in 1956 upon his return from two years of service as an Army Radio Operator. A dedicated and loving husband and father, he and Roberta moved back to Camden to teach and raise a family.
Gail taught Earth Sciences for 36 years at the Rockland District Junior High School. Passing along his love of space, aviation and ecology, he was also noted for patience, his use of the overhead projector and his lesson in the art of sharpening a pencil properly. In the Junior High’s Chess Club he coached scores of students on the skill of playing chess, detailing plays on the trusty overhead projector. To this day, science books, red pencils, transparencies, and lesson plans decorate the family home.
He worked countless summers as a park ranger at the Camden Hills State Park sharing his love for camping and the local area with visitors and family alike. In his later years he continued his interest in local connections and community working with the Camden-Rockport Historical Society and serving on its board of directors. As a committed member of the Camden Lions Club he was recently awarded his 50-Year Pin. He looked forward to the monthly meals with his CHS “Lunch Bunch."
One of his greatest joys in life was spending time with his granddaughter, Allie. Together they shared his life-long love of learning, discussing the planets and stars, and watching birds. Nature walks were taken, barnacles and other tide pool creatures were discovered, and tadpoles were caught in the vernal pools of Mt. Battie. Above all, quality time was spent snuggling in the Oudie Chair.
His innate curiosity, inveterate puttering, appreciation of Pogo, use of his “Teacher’s Voice,” constant kindness, warm laughter and love filled hugs are treasured and will be passed along the generations. He will be remembered with love as we look down at the ferns and up at Orion in the night sky.
A service in celebration of his life will be held at the John St. Methodist Church in Camden, Saturday, April 26, at 1 p.m. Please wear colors you enjoy.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the North East Mobile Health Services, The Camden Christian Food Pantry or the John Street Methodist Church of Camden. Condolences may be shared with the Frye family by visiting their book of memories at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden.