Eleanor Fry


Eleanor Fry passed away in her home on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, with her family at her side. Eleanor was born on August 28, 1925, in River Hebert, Nova Scotia, to Rupert and Almira Rockwell, one of six children. At the age of 6 she and her family traveled by train across Canada, ultimately settling in Montesano, Wash. In time her parents were able to purchase land and start a dairy operation. Eleanor graduated from Montesano High School and went on to secretarial school.

On October 12, 1943, she married Robert Arensberg and raised three children, Virginia Lee, Rebecca Jane and John Robert. She was a full-time homemaker while her children were young. Sewing clothing for her daughters was her hobby and she took pride in her beautiful creations. She also enjoyed gardening and family vacations in Santa Cruz, Calif. As her children grew Eleanor started working outside the home as a secretary, continuing to sew and cook for her family and participating in bridge when she could.

Robert Arensberg passed away in 1970 while they were living in San Diego, where Robert managed a Montgomery Wards store. Eleanor was later reacquainted with a high school beau from Montesano, Russell Fry; they married and moved back to their home town of Montesano. Eleanor and Russell enjoyed their retirement years in Montesano, camping, fishing, gardening and golfing. Eleanor became a very competitive golfer and was a force to be reckoned with on the course, winning many trophies. She was also an excellent bridge player and belonged to several bridge groups in Montesano; she was always willing to fill in. Russell passed away in 2004 and Eleanor continued to live in their home.

Eleanor relocated to Missoula after suffering a hip fracture to be close to her daughters, Virginia and Rebecca. Most recently home has been the Lynwood condos, where she enjoyed meeting the many friendly residents and taking walks along the beautiful tree-lined streets of the University District. Her goal was to feel well enough to join a bridge group and continue her walking.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her brothers, James, Harry and Arthur Rockwell; her sister, Mildred; her son, John Robert Arensberg; and her husbands, Robert Arensberg and Russell Fry.

She is survived by her sister, Marian Edwards (Gene); her daughters, Virginia Arensberg Haroldson (Bruce) and Rebecca Arensberg; granddaughters, Selene Arensberg, Tehara Arensberg, Angela, Chrissy and Leslie Arensberg and Ingrid Ashley; great-grandchildren, Jaks Ashley and James and Cash Swartz.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to, Partners in Home Care or the Missoula Humane Society.

A memorial service will be held later this summer in Montesano.