Amy Jo Kinyon
Ken Fry of Potterville will be the first to tell you that he might not be the most well-liked resident in town. So, when the news came that he had been chosen as the grand marshal for the 2016 Gizzard Fest parade, it came as a bit of a shock.
“I was kind of surprised. I’m not always the most popular guy in town,” said Fry who turns 88 later this year.
Joe Bristol said the committee chose Fry due to his civic engagement and willingness to serve the community.
“He has always been involved in the community, government positions, community planning and is one of the town elders,” explained Bristol. “He’s always been known for his opinion and we need people to stick to their guns and come up with new ideas.”
Fry has served as mayor, assessor and a variety of other positions within Potterville. A barber for several decades, Fry and wife, Georgia have four daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Some of those family members will join him in the parade as it travels through town on Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m.
Fry served in the Army in the early 1950s and has a held a variety of jobs throughout his life. He explained that his ability to learn new skills quickly made it easy to try new careers and be successful in new endeavors. From harvesting wheat, working as a roughneck on an oilrig, stints at Oldsmobile and Fisher Body, to working for Secretary of State Fred Alger, Fry has an impressive resume.
“I wasn’t afraid of learning,” said Fry. “You name the job and I’ve probably done it somewhere.”
The state of affairs for veterans recently is a topic that hits close to home for Fry. He would like to see the system change to better support those who have served the country.
“There are so many little clauses that veterans get shafted by,” explained Fry.
Born and raised in Potterville, Fry is quick to explain that any of his successes in the town are due in large part to a team of other community members who stepped up and helped.
“Every park in town, I’ve had something to do with getting it started, but I didn’t do it alone,” explained Fry. “I believe in teamwork. We’ve got to come together to get things done.”