Longtime hospital administrator passes away at 90

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Jack Fry

CORNWALL, Ontario - A popular hospital administrator, well known throughout Cornwall, passed away Tuesday.

Jack Fry was 90 years old.

His son Bill said in an interview his father had a zest for getting to know each and every one of the people under his employ.

"I can remember one story where there was a huge snowstorm and he was talking to all the staff at the hospital," recalled Bill. "He said: 'The most important person at the hospital today is that fellow out there clearing the parking lot - because without him, none of us would be here.'

"He had this real humanity for all kinds of people. He would always ask about employees' families, and would know which of them had children at university."

In addition to running the former Hotel Dieu Hospital, Fry was also the administrator for both the Mcdonell Memorial Hospital and St Joseph Villa for a time.

Upon his retirement in 1989 he received high praise from senior government officials, municipal government representatives, charitable organizations, the local legal community, veteran physicians, fellow health care workers and legions of loyal employees.

Bill said salons A and B at the Cornwall Civic Complex were overflowing with those wishing Fry a happy retirement.

At that time he received a significant honour from the people of  Akwesasne - an "eagle dancer" vase that stood in his home for years. Fry had been instrumental in assisting Akwesasne's plan to create its own ambulance service.

Fry was also a Second World War veteran, where he served as an air force navigator.

"He saw so much during the war," said Bill, who added his father's loyalty knew few bounds. "Everyone to him was equal.

"Even after the hospitals amalgamated and some of the employees went to work at the general hospital. He still considered them his people, and he was concerned about them."

Fry is the husband of the late Suzanne (née Power) Fry, and father of Cindy Fry, Bill Fry (Diane), John Fry (late Pat), Kathy McCormick (Terry), Christopher Fry (Dana), Patrick Fry (Sharon) Shelagh Gareau (Gary), Julia Fry–Lamoureux, and Robert Fry (Jennifer).

He also had 24 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren.

Fry is resting at the Wilson Funeral Home, 822 Pitt Street, Cornwall where visitation will be held Monday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 9 to 10:15 a.m. The funeral will be held at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Organizations: Retired CEO Hotel Dieu Hospital, MacDonell Memorial Hospital, Roman Catholic Church Continuing Care Centre

Geographic location: CORNWALL, Ontario, Madison 822 Pitt Street Long Sault

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Recent comments

  • Sultan Jessa
    January 30, 2014 - 09:33

    I knew Jack Fry for a long time. I worked with him on many health projects. The Cornwall community has lost a fine and a caring citizen. RIP. Sultan

    • Chris Fry
      January 30, 2014 - 15:52

      Thank you so much Sultan, your words are so kind and I know that my father spoke of you often as "My friend Sultan."