ONEONTA – Dr. Wendell Frye, 77, a professor of German, Hartwick College’s longest serving faculty member, and “Father of the J-Term,” passed away Tuesday, March 28, 2017. On May 21, he received the Margaret B. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching at the college’s commencement.
Wendell was born March 1, 1940, in Leominster, Mass., to Kenneth and Birtrice Frye. Upon graduating Leominster High School in 1958, he enlisted in the Marines. After serving, he received his B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.; his M.A. from Middlebury and his Ph.D. in German Literature from Indiana University. He was a Fulbright scholar, studying in Germany.
Dr. Frye served as a professor of German language and culture at Hartwick College beginning in 1970 for 47 years, making him the longest serving full time faculty member at the college. He earned full professorship in 1981. He served as the chair of the language department for 14 years.
Dr. Frye worked throughout his career to provide students with international experiences by bringing native speaking adjunct professors to Hartwick for 25 years; becoming known as the “Father of J-term”, leading over 30 groups abroad, which resulted in over 900 students being immersed into Austrian culture. He was instrumental in Hartwick’s Fulbright program, advising 22 Fulbright scholars. His love of teaching was well known and evidenced by the thousands of students who remember his classes fondly.
Wendell was a Civil War and history enthusiast. He enjoyed anything history related, and could answer any question asked. He was an avid reader and also translated two books from German to English. He was active in the Masonville Rod & Gun Club and enjoyed the weekly poker games there, as well as the company of the other members. During his sons’ teenage years, he was active in Boys Scouts.
Wendell leaves behind his brother, Henry (Pauline) Frye; children Karl (Gail) Frye, Erik (Jennifer) Frye, Franz Frye, and Johanna(Ryan) VanDeusen; grandchildren that were his joy Lindsey, Bryant, Leigha, David, Kris, Alison, Katey, Tanis and Kailynn. Wendell was blessed with 3 great grandchildren Treyton, Lilea, and Gabriel. He leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, close friends, colleagues and students.
One of five children of Kenneth and Birtrice Frye, Wendell will be joining those who have predeceased him, his parents, sister Peggy Mulligan, brothers Roger and Kenneth and son Hans.
A true lover of animals Wendell is no doubt surrounded by the many pets that he has had throughout his life.
Friends are invited to greet the family 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 5, at the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, 425 Main Street, Franklin.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 10:15 am at St. Mary’s Church, 39 Walnut Street, Oneonta, with Rev. David Mickiewicz, pastor, celebrant. Burial will follow in Ouleout Valley Cemetery, Franklin.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be sent to The Dr.Wendell W. Frye J-Term Scholarship fund at Hartwick College.
Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at www.bennettfh.com.
Arrangements are by the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, Franklin.