Rev. Charles Harrison Frye, 88, of Lakewood and formerly of Sullivan, Ohio, died Thursday, July 9, 2020 at Vitalia Senior Residences in Westlake. Born on May 16, 1932 in Richland County, he was the son of the late Paul and Mary Ellen “Esther” (nee Poet) Frye. Charlie graduated from Kent State University (BA) and Perkins School of Theology, in Dallas, TX, with a Masters of Theological Studies.
Rev. Frye, an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church for more than 40 years, serving churches throughout the East Ohio Conference, including Hope Wesley (CLE), Leroy ( Westfield Center), Homer, West Salem, Crawford Corners, Associate Pastor at Mt. Vernon Gay Street, and Associate Pastor of Bay Village. He was particularly passionate about urban ministry and ministry to the poor and disenfranchised. He was an ardent leader in peace with justice and justice and equality concerns. Charlie was a founding member of the West Side Ecumenical Ministry and was the Executive Director of the Rurban Project, helping to create 22 community gardens across Cleveland. .
Farming was another passion for Charlie, he was on the board of the statewide Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, and served as both President and Vice-President of their Board. He received their Distinguished Service Award. He was an early advocate for sustainable, organic farming practices and worked to bring farmers from the from rural areas into Cleveland to teach farming techniques.
Following his retirement from full-time ministry Charlie returned to the home that he built in the Sullivan area where he tended his organic farm and became involved with the community. He served on the Black River School Board for 12 years. He also enjoyed volunteering in the elementary school and was affectionally known as Papa Frye or French Frye.
Survivors include his loving wife of 32 years, Rev. Nancy Hull; children Christopher (Michelle) Frye, of Lexington KY, Eric Frye, of Cleveland, Cassandra (Dave) Frye, of Wadsworth, Thomas (Crystal) Garrett, of Barberton, Shelley (Matthew) Ducatt, of Tallahassee, FL, Craig (Melissa) Hull, of Portage, MI, Rev. David (Elizabeth) Hull-Frye, of Cuyahoga Falls, and Jennifer Frye, and Samantha (Carl) Panko, both of Gilbert, AZ; grandchildren Nathan O’Neill, Sydney and Spencer English, Mackenzie, Madison, and Braeden Ducatt, Carter Hull, Lauren Hull, and Elijah Hull-Frye; siblings Mary Ellen (Howard) Stotts, and John Frye (Ellen Griffith) ; sisters-in-law Pat (Dale) Kellerman, and Barbara Waltermire, and brother-in-law Donald (Patty) Hull. Charlie was preceded in death by his son Peter Frye and his grandson Wesley Garrett.
A memorial service will take place at the Westlake UMC at a later date. Norton-Eastman Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements and expressions of sympathy may be shared online at www.norton-eastmanfuneralhome.com.
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