ShareThis Page
Latrobe World War II veteran was ‘all about photography’ | TribLIVE.com
Obituary Stories

Latrobe World War II veteran was ‘all about photography’

Patrick Varine
848812_web1_gtr-ObitFrye-030819
Submitted
Harry Frye, 94, of Latrobe died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.

If Harry Frye wasn’t at a local fire or town council meeting, he was covering high school sports or taking candid photos basically everywhere he went.

“It’s all about photography,” said Patrick Frye, 57, of West Chester, about his father. “He always had his camera in his hand and didn’t go anywhere without it.”

Harry Frye, of Latrobe died Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. He was 94.

Mr. Frye was born Jan. 2, 1925, in Latrobe, a son of the late John and Ruth (Crowe) Frye. He graduated from Latrobe High School and earned a gymnastics scholarship to Rice University.

Instead of attending college, however, Mr. Frye enlisted in the Army, serving in Gen. Patton’s Third Army Division in Europe during World War II.

“It wasn’t something he liked to reflect on very much,” Patrick said. “But he routinely went back for his squadron’s reunions. There were a lot of men from the Latrobe area who were part of that group. They were all teenagers who enlisted at the time.”

During his time in the service, Mr. Frye developed a passion for photography, which he turned into a career back home. He owned a family photo studio and finishing shop, and worked for about four decades as a staff photographer for the Beaver County Times and Latrobe Bulletin.

“As a newspaper photographer, he was always on the go,” Patrick said. “He was pretty much on call 24-7. He was very connected to the community in that way.”

Throughout his career, Mr. Frye chronicled the Steelers’ rise into an NFL dynasty from the 1960s through the 1980s, photographed three U.S. presidents and made friends with legendary Latrobe golfer Arnold Palmer.

After retirement, Mr. Frye dug into his collection of cameras, photos and glass-plate images.

“I think at one point, he had something like 7,000 cameras in his collection,” Patrick said. “He volunteered that collection at places and historical societies all over Western Pennsylvania.”

When the former Sartoris Photography studio in Export Borough closed in the 1980s, Mr. Frye purchased the store’s contents.

“He became a curator, and that was sort of what he spent his second career doing,” Patrick said. “The more he engaged with local historical societies, the more motivated he was to go out and get more photos and equipment to restore.”

Patrick said that while his father certainly enjoyed being paid to take newspaper photos, it was the work he did in the community that inspired him.

“He took pictures everywhere we went,” Patrick said. “He took photos out of a desire to make connections and give people something they could cherish.”

Mr. Frye is survived by his six children, Laura (Dale) Lambert, Michelle (Greg) Frank, Chris (Rebecca) Frye, Robin (Frank) Pletz, Pat (Laura) Frye, Janice Jasinski; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at noon, March 18 at Bradenville United Methodist Church, 5168 Route 982. A service of committal will be at noon, March 19 at Beaver Cemetery on Buffalo Street.

Memorial donations can be made to the Latrobe Historical Society, 416 Weldon St., Latrobe, PA, 15650, or to the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation, 1235 Third Ave., Freedom, PA, 15042.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Obituaries
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.