Neva Marie Fry
Neva Marie (Dicus) Fry, a long time resident of Booker and member of the Booker Friends Church, passed from her life here on earth on December 1, 2020. Neva was born October 24, 1923 to James Charles and Velma Blance (Flint) Dicus. Neva Marie was the oldest, then came Freda, Verna, June, James, Harold, and Shirley. Charlie Dicus worked for a construction company building bridges and highways in southern Indiana, while Velma stayed home with their growing children. After several years of traveling and moving from one town to another and having the children change schools often, the couple bought a farm north of Madison, Indiana.
Neva graduated from Hanover High School in 1942 and then went on to Hanover College where she majored in Home Economics. World War II was in progress and many young men were going off to war. She and a group of girlfriends went to Camp Attebury to get jobs working for the government. Norman Fry was stationed at Camp Attebury in Indiana. That is where he met Neva Marie Dicus on a blind date. Norman decided he had met the woman of his dreams. He returned home to Texas for a while before returning to Indiana to fetch his bride. Neva told us when she went to the train to get him, she told her sisters that if he got off that train wearing a cowboy hat and boots she would just die. Well, he did and she didn’t die, she married him on July 23, 1948, in Kansas City, Missouri. Norman and Neva returned to the Fry farm south of Darrouzett, Texas. In 1951, they started their family of 4 girls. Gwenlyn, Nancy, and Janice were born in Lipscomb County. Times were tuff and jobs were hard to find. Norman went to visit his aunt in Junction City, Kansas looking for work. His uncle told him to check at the nearby Army post. He and Neva moved to Ft. Riley, Kansas. A short time later, they finished their family with the addition of Ann. Norman worked as an electrician for the Army post. After 9 years they decided it was time to come home and help his parents with the farming. The Fry’s moved to Booker, Texas in June 1964 and started Fry Electric. Neva did the books for the business, raised their daughters, and looked after his parents.
Neva was a woman of many talents. Not only was Neva a good mother and business partner, she was also a pretty good carpenter. She and Norman designed and built their own home at 520 S Denton in Booker with the help of their daughters and friends where they lived for 45 years. Neva was also an excellent seamstress. If you showed her a picture of what you wanted, she could make it. In a garment made by Neva, all seams were straight, and the hem was even. Neva was an exceptional housekeeper and cook, too. You could eat off her floors and she always made sure meals included all the food groups.
Norman fell from a light pole and broke his back when he was 49. The doctors told him he could live 15 to 20 years in his condition. He lived for 31 years in his wheelchair. We attribute his long life to the excellent nursing and care he received from his Neva. Norman and Neva enjoyed spending the winter in Venice, Florida with her mother until Norman was no longer able to travel.
Neva was the kind of person that excelled at all she did because she never said, “I can’t”. She and Norman taught their four daughters they could be and do anything if they put their mind to it.
Neva moved to The Seasons Assisted living in Perryton, TX in 2011. She lived there till April of 2017 and then moved to Senior Village in Perryton. Those of you that met her after she moved to Perryton didn’t get to know the real Neva. She moved because she had developed dementia. Neva had a wonderful memory for silly rhymes and songs and would recite them often. She had one she always did and incorporated your name into it in a funny way. As children we would bring our friends over and have her do it with their name. Even though she didn’t remember all about her past she occasionally still blessed us with some of her silly rhymes till just before the end. She could also still play us a song or two on her harmonica. Some days she forgot just exactly who her daughters were, but she always knew they “belonged” to her.
Neva was preceded in death by her parents, her infant brother, James, two sisters, June and Verna, and her husband, Norman of 59 1/2 years. She is survived by two sisters, Freda Smith and Shirley Heger of Columbus, IN, and one brother Harold Dicus, and his wife Lisa of Venice, Florida. She is also survived by her four daughters: Gwen and Dayle Ferguson, Follett, TX, Nancy and Jerry Shaner, Malakoff, TX, Janice and Tommy Clevenger, Anton, TX, and Ann and Bob Pearce, San Antonio, TX, eight grandchildren, Marisa Born, Raelene Copeland, Jennifer Pool, Bryan Shaner, Beth Barbee Hubbert, Tommy Barbee, Kristen Pearce, and Robert Pearce, seven great grandchildren, one great-great grandson, and one more on the way.
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