Nature 10

Brent Charles Fryer

August 3, 1940 ~ April 18, 2020 (age 79)


Dr. Brent Charles Fryer (79) passed away April 18, 2020 at his home in Henderson, Nevada after a four month battle with adenocarcinoma lung and bone cancer.  Brent is survived by his wife of 57 years, Thelma “Sharon" Jensen Fryer, and his six children: Vance (Diane) Fryer of Doha, Qatar; Robert (Tracey) Fryer of Canton, GA; Laura (Michael) Rawlins of Henderson, NV; Mark (Jaime) Fryer, Mountain Home, ID; Jordan (Shannon) Fryer of Queen Creek, AZ and Lisa (Jon) Allsop of Prairieville, LA; 22 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with two more on the way.  Brent was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Ruby Fryer, his brothers Reese and Charles and survived by his siblings Gary, Creig, Jill, Judy, Robyn, and Rodney.

Brent was born in Lindon, UT on August 3, 1940.  There he learned how to farm with his family and cultivated his core values of hard work and integrity.  Brent graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 1958 and was the first in his family to graduate college having attended BYU for his bachelor (1965) and master degrees (1967) and MIT for his Sc.D. in mechanical engineering (1973).  Brent was a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also the first in his family to serve a mission, of which he did so in the West Central States and Southwest Indian Missions.  On December 19, 1963 Brent married his sweetheart Sharon in the Salt Lake City Temple where they were sealed for time and all eternity and were later blessed with six children.  Brent loved the Lord and was His faithful servant.  Through the atonement of Christ, Brent knew that families could be together forever.

In the summer of 1965 Brent interned at John Deere in Moline, IL.  After graduating from BYU in Provo, UT in 1966, he moved to Richland, WA and worked for Battelle Northwest Laboratories. In 1969 Brent and family moved to Boston, MA to earn his Ph.D. at MIT where he placed second on his entrance exams.  In 1972 he returned to Richland with his family to work for Battelle, and a few years later purchased a small farm in neighboring Benton City where he taught his sons the value of hard work and how to move irrigation pipes on land that would raise cattle, sheep, alfalfa, fruit trees, and a trout pond.  He built a house on the property and lived there from 1975 to 1981 during which time Brent worked for Exxon Nuclear.  Brent and his family then moved to Denver, CO for Exxon, focusing on the production of oil shale.  After the oil crisis in the early 1980s, Brent and his family again returned to Richland, WA and for the next 17 years, he continued to work in the energy field and raise his and Sharon’s six children, all of whom are college graduates.  Brent retired with his wife Sharon to St. George, UT in 1999 and later moved to Henderson, NV in 2011 where he stayed true to his workhorse spirit keeping busy with his oil shale project, maintaining the landscape he called “Paradise” around his home, helping teenage grandkids with calculus homework, and entertaining the little grandchildren with his thrilling leg-and-arm crane ride.

While Brent wore a suit and tie most of his career, outside of work he took fashion cues from no one.  He felt most comfortable wearing his signature Levi 501s, a plaid button-up or free t-shirt, cowboy boots or Asics Gel sneakers, and a white straw cowboy hat or ball cap while driving one of his Ford trucks:  Old Blue or Old Whitey.  He was the definition of old school and had zero materialistic possessions, but one of his most admired items was his brass belt buckle that he bought many years ago that simply read “United States of America” over the head of a bald eagle.  Brent was a proud citizen patriot who always put an emphasis of family first, education second, and always helping your neighbor.  He enjoyed the pure and simple things of life such as a good lemon meringue pie, an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, and never passed on putting a coupon in his wallet that may or may not be used in the future, of which a rubber band was needed in order to keep it closed.  He never voiced any of his own accomplishments, yet took extreme pride in telling others of his children’s, grandchildren’s, and great- grands’ achievements. 

Brent was loved and respected by many.  He was as principled a man as the day is long.  We were blessed to learn many lessons from him during his 79 years with us.  When we were challenged with a problem in life, the solution could almost always be found by following one of his trusted pieces of advice:  “Start out with a clean sheet of paper and a sharpened pencil,” “Don’t stand around with your hands in your pockets waiting to be told what to do,” “Did you read the entire book?” “Measure twice cut once,” and “Get good grades or you’ll be kicking horse turds down the road.”

A private funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2020 under the direction of Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove. Interment will be in the East Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Provo, UT.  A celebration of Life will take place this summer to honor Brent.

In lieu of flowers: The family are requesting a donation be made to one of the following charities

MIT Scholarships

Missionary, Humanitarian Aid, or BYU Scholarship Funds

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