LTC William H. Frye was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 05/28/2015 at the age of 82.2
Los Osos, CA
Date of Birth 03/12/1933
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 71 AHC in 66-67
This information was provided by Sammie WIllaims

More detail on this person: Lt. Col. William Frye (Ret.) William H. Frye, "Bill" or "PapPap," as he was known to family and friends, of Los Osos, Calif., passed away peacefully Thursday, May 28, 2015, with his youngest son and wife of fifty years by his side. He was born in a Pennsylvania Army hospital in March 1933, and volunteered for the draft in 1953. Notably, Bill was a platoon leader in an Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam from 1966-67, piloting troop-carrying helicopters and gunships earning two Presidential Unit Citations for Valor. After twenty years of honorable and decorated service that took Lt. Col. Frye all over the world filling unique, aviation-specific and engineering assignments, Bill went back to school for a second degree. He earned his teaching certificate from the University of Idaho and then taught 20th Century U.S. History and U.S. and State Government for twelve years at Moscow Senior High School in Idaho. The immense influence Bill had on his pupils' lives was apparent when former students would return home from college and thank him for the insights and knowledge he taught them. During both careers, Bill was able to satisfy his passion for traveling and experiencing the world. Along with his wife Joanne, he peeked at Lenin in Red Square, saw the Taj Mahal by moonlight and celebrated New Year's Eve at Raffles in Singapore, just to name a few. Throughout it all, his keen memory lent itself to detailed and animated stories of historical events mixed with his own experiences and observations at each site. He was the kind of storyteller who stopped you in your tracks; hours of listening and reliving adventures seemed like mere moments. Bill was also a true lover of nature and all living creatures. A simple walk from a parking lot to a restaurant could take an hour if there was a dog to pet on the way. He loved sitting by the water with family to watch the otters play or listen to the sea lions bark. Once a meal was complete, there were always seagulls to feed with smuggled french-fries or more dogs to meet as new people walked by. After properly greeting any fluffy creature, Bill talked with the owners in a way that proved he truly cared. Bill never met a stranger. He was also an avid reader who enjoyed Cicero and Elmore Leonard and everything in between. Some of the greatest memories that his children and grandchildren share are the times he read them to sleep in his animated voice, making Tolkien come alive. He was a walking encyclopedia, but you would never know it unless you asked an obscure question. In the morning, he would complete crossword puzzles with a singular focus and fervor. Thousands of hours were spent counting "fifteen-twos and a pair make four" during one of his favorite pastimes of playing cribbage with family and friends. Bill married Helen Hammersberg in 1955 in Carlisle, Pa., and together they had three children. After seven years of marriage, Helen lost her brave fight against breast cancer at the age of 27. Several years later, Bill met and married Joanne Cameron in St. Louis. She has been by his side for fifty years as wife, best friend and confidant, and loving mother to his children. Bill and Joanne settled in Los Osos in 1990 after heading south to escape the cold Idaho winters and have loved living there ever since. They quickly made a home and became part of the community, volunteering for more than 20 years with the Los Osos public library, helping at the National History Museum, ringing Christmas bells for the Salvation Army and joining several community groups. Bill particularly loved playing cribbage with the RAMS. Embodying the true definition of a "fan," Bill planned his Fall around the Cal Poly home football game schedule and could be seen jumping and cheering with the best of them. Bill Frye is survived by his loving wife, Joanne; son, William R. "Bill" (wife Sharon) of Camas, Wash.; daughter, Katharine Hittle of Nyssa, Ore.; son, James of Los Osos, Calif., and five grandchildren: Jenna Hanson, Kristen Fransman, Erin, Andrew and Alisha Hittle and five great-grandchildren. Bill was kind and brave and a true gentleman who will be extraordinarily missed by all who knew him. At Bill's request, there will be no service; a bench will be donated in his name to the Morro Bay walk. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Los Osos Public Library or Central Coast Hospice. Sign his guestbook at

Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on June 3, 2015

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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