October 29, 1940 - February 3, 2021
On Wednesday February 3, 2021, Roger Dean Frye passed peacefully at the age of 80, surrounded by loved ones.
Roger was born October 29, 1940 to Henry J. (Hank) & Bernice E. Frye of Arlington, Neb. The Marshall Nurseries in Arlington is where Roger grew up and called home. The Nursery was his first job where he discovered his love of nature and dendrology. He enjoyed coon hunting with his brothers (Jim and Jerry) along with his favorite dog Muggs. During this time, Roger made his first trip to Rapid City, where he and his father planted the trees at Canyon Lake Park that still stand today. He was known as “Tippy Toes” Frye while playing both baseball and basketball for Arlington High School. Focusing on Math, Roger later attended Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Neb. Roger’s passion for dancing led him to the love of his life, Eva Hirschman, on February 11th, 1961, at a Valentine’s Day dance in Arlington. After lots of dancing and months of courtship, they were married on May 5, 1962 in Coleridge, Neb. He worked for Sherwin Williams starting in 1962, in Fremont, Neb. This is where they welcomed their three girls, Jodie, Julie, and Amy to the world. Following the Rapid City Flood of 1972, Roger was offered the management position at the Rapid City Sherwin Williams. He accepted the job, loaded up the station wagon, and moved the family out west. After a twenty-year career with them and a brief sabbatical, he purchased the historic Coast to Coast building in Downtown Rapid City. This seemed an appropriate location for his dream business to come to life. He cracked the doors of Roger Frye’s Paint and Supply in October of 1983. Eventually the entire family each played an important role in the success of his business. During these years, Roger became a pilar for downtown businesses and the community, serving on several panels and advisory boards. He was a major contributor to the paint industry nationwide. If you are ever looking for a stain color suggestion, try “Roger Frye Oak.”
His free time was devoted to numerous clubs and organizations, his favorite being The Fraternal order of the Elks. Roger was two-time Exulted Ruler, Deputy Grand Exulted Ruler, South Dakota Elks Association State President, and Elk of the Year during his time with them. He was also proud of his help in the coordination and establishment of the girls ASA leagues in Rapid City.
Roger worked hard, but he played just as hard. He spent many evenings working on his bowling average which was over 200 pins. He had legendary trips to the Big Horns in Wyoming with his sons-in-law, where they would enjoy rustic living, cold baths in the creek, and visits from old friends such as O.P. Fuddpucker. Grandkids and great grandkids loved his annual 4th of July celebrations, where Roger would often sneak around the corner with them to fire off those darn bottle rockets and firecrackers. Roger took pride in his yard, with beautifully manicured grass and trees grafted from his years at the nursery. As much as his home played host to family events, don’t even think about wearing shoes on his perfect lawn during a badminton match. In his later years, he was known as Referee Roger! His team was always the one to beat during family bean bag tournaments. Some people couldn’t believe that the family would spend their time together on evenings and weekends after working together all the time, but it was of the utmost importance to Roger. Family gatherings would have both his favorite people and his favorite foods. Whether eating at home, or out on the town, Roger always loved good food, excellent service, and great company.
After taking the whole family to Mexico 2008, returning annual vacations were a must. This is where he loved to soak up the sunshine, he enjoyed deep-sea fishing with his sons-in-law and grandsons, and would smile as he consumed piles of grilled oysters and sea food of all kinds. Roger’s world would always stand still when he heard his daughters sing “The Rose.”
Roger will be missed by many, and the memories created will be cherished by all who shared them.
Roger is survived by his wife, Eva; three daughters, Jodie, Frye-Byington, Julie (Mike) Frye-Mueller and Amy (Marty) Frye-Trupe, all of Rapid City. Five grandchildren, Tiara (Zach) Marcus, Tyler(Jessica) Trupe, Marisa (Trent) Stahl, JonDean Trupe, Jacob Byington, and six great-grandchildren, Jenessa, Aspen, Levi, Brooklyn, Ezekiel, and Gabriella. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernice and Henry and his brothers, James (Jim) and Jerry.
Mass of Christian burial will be Friday, February 12, 2021, 2 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Visitation will be Thursday, February 11 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a wake service at 7 p.m. Burial will follow the service at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. The public is welcome to attend all of Roger’s services.
Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at behrenswilson.com