By Kelsi Peace, Managing Editor
From kicking armadillos in a field to delivering single pink roses, Aaron Fry made sure life was never dull, friends and family say.
“The first time I met Aaron, he was wearing a pink toga, believe it or not,” said Drew Lambert, senior computer science and marketing major from Little Rock, Ark., and Aaron’s roommate. “We’ve been best friends since that night.”
Nathan Moore, senior marketing major from Rhome, remembered the toga, too.
“He could always dress goofy as all get out,” Nathan said, laughing. “From pin stripe suits to pink togas, he was a man with class.”
Aaron’s sister, Brittany Fry (03), agreed, and said his ability to wear anything could have come from dressing up with his older sister when they were children.
“He could pull off anything. I guess it was just his personality,”
Aaron, a senior marketing major from Grandview, was killed the morning of Aug. 19 when he was thrown from his motorcycle
on West Lake Road and struck a sign, according to a report in the Abilene-Reporter News. Aaron was not wearing a helmet.
He left friends and family with loving words, though, and friends say they think he was prepared.
Just thirty minutes before his accident, Aaron sent his father, Buddy, a text message to say ‘I love you,’ Drew said. And on the front porch of their house just four days before his accident, Aaron told Drew he loved him, adding, “You know, God loves you, too.”
“Nobody really knows Aaron as the serious guy that he was,” Drew said. “He gave me more insight into life than anybody. He has saved my life with this. This has saved my life.”
Brittany, who was Aaron’s best friend as well as his sister, said she and Aaron went to California together on a whim three weeks before his accident.
“It’s one thing that’s helping me through this,” she said. “Because I had time with him, just me and him.”
While in California, Aaron told Brittany that he was going to watch out for her, and every time a guy noticed her or spoke to her, Brittany said Aaron started singing, “I am the man that will fight for your honor,” from the Karate Kid.
“He was so protective of me. You would think he was my older brother,” Brittany said.
Conrad Hinojosa, senior management major from McAllen and Aaron’s roommate, recalled a night at Chili’s on Aug. 16 when Aaron put his hand on Conrad’s shoulder and said, “It’s good to be with you guys.”
It was great to be around Aaron, friends say. Jessica Bills, senior family studies major from Lubbock, worked with Aaron at Zida, where he worked in trading and distribution for the company. Jessica said she and Aaron shared a brownie every Tuesday
and Thursday before going to class, just one tradition
among many the two shared.
“He used to always just get me one pink rose randomly,”
Jessica said. “He really was an amazing, sweet, romantic guy.”
Friends remember Aaron for his genuine friendship and his ability to cause a commotion.
“There’s never a dull moment with Aaron,” Nathan said. “If you didn’t know him, you would think he had turretssometimes. He would literally just scream at the top of his lungs.”
Aaron’s many talents ranged from his dedicated work at Zida, to perfectly mimicking a cricket’s chirp to playing the trumpet in ACU’s Big Purple. Friends and family shared stories of Aaron at a memorial Facebook.com group, recalling times when Aaron mimicked a band member’s laugh on his trumpet, or when he appeared for rehearsal dressed in a chicken suit.
“He was very weird; he was very different,” Jessica said. “He just didn’t care.”
Justin Ruiz, junior youth and family ministry major from Belton, met Aaron at a Gamma Sigma Phi, a men’s social club, rush in the fall, and later got to know Aaron while he was pledging.
Aaron took Justin to play disc golf and counted it as a visit.
“It was great,” Justin said. “I really didn’t have that with anybody else. He just took care of me during pledging a lot. He was like a second brother to me.”
Nathan is also a member of GSP, and he credits Aaron as being the reason he decided to pledge, as well as a reason for staying at ACU when he was homesick his freshman year.
“Hanging out with him every day made me forget that I didn’t want to be here,” Nathan said.
The two met at church camp when they were 8 or 9 years old, Nathan said. They returned as camp counselors for the past few years. One night, Nathan said he and Aaron took golf carts and drove through an empty field after the campers were asleep. They noticed mounds on the ground and realized they were little armadillos.
“You can get probably five feet from them, and then they take off running,” Nathan said. Chasing them turned into kicking them, and kicking soon turned into to hunting. Nathan laughingly recalled finally getting an armadillo and wrapping it in saran wrap because both were afraid to touch it.
“We were always the crazy ones,” Nathan said.
Friends remembered Aaron working out to Dance, Dance Revolution in plastic bags (to burn more calories), driving in his red Honda Civic and makingcricket noises in Chapel.
And they definitely remember Aaron with a smile.
“Every time he sang, I would look at him and have the biggest grin on my face,” Brittany said. “I was his biggest fan in whatever he did.”
His voice, she said, is what she will miss the most.
“He was so spontaneous and random,” Brittany said. “We would never really plan anything. There’s no way I can put it all into words.Aaron was just something you couldn’t put into words.”
Aaron is survived by his parents, Buddy and Debbie Fry of Grandview, and his sister, Brittany Fry (03).