Born: October 25, 1960
Place of Birth: Kankakee, IL
Death: November 4, 2012
Place of Death: Indianapolis, IN
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Chief Humor Officer
Memorial donations may be made to:
The Ella Fry Educational Trust at PNC Bank Acct:4804273619
This memorial provided by:
Bussell and Bell Family Funerals
Michael L. Fry
Mike Fry had only one main goal in life, and he achieved it every day of his life: He wanted to make people laugh. From his early days as the perennial class clown in Huntington, Indiana, his course in life was set. He spent his high school years training intensely to reach his goal of attending Ringling Brothers Clown College. There he had the honor of being trained by three of the world's top four Master Clowns. He loved his time with the circus, and it was the foundation for the eight wonderful years Mike spent portraying Happy The Hobo on the wildly popular TV show, Happy’s Place, (syndicated in 207 cities) in which he starred from 1982-1990. He was also the chief writer and a producer. In recent years Mike joyfully reconnected with over 12,000 of his fans via his page: facebook.com/happythehobo and continued to entertain them with frequent posts full of good humor. Only then did he learn how many lives he had touched, as his grown up fans confided how much Mike’s daily shows had helped them through rough times in their lives.
After leaving the show, Mike turned his attention to another passion: inventing. Still in the joy mode, he created the Always There Bear, which was purchased by Hasbro Toys. And then he had his Big Light Bulb Moment when he asked himself: Why do fortune cookies have to be beige, bland and boring? That was the beginning of Fancy Fortune Cookies, which is still going strong in Indianapolis. Mike is the inventor of colored and flavored fortune cookies, and many millions of them have been shipped all over the world and into some very famous hands. The list of celebrity fans is very long, but near the top would be Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart, who both featured his cookies on their shows. Over the decades, Mike was always innovating and expanding his line of cookies, and his wife Erin continues his work at fancyfortunecookies.com. True to form, Mike had this to say about his company: “I don’t bake cookies—I sell smiles—I think of myself as being in the joy business.”
A lifelong learner and student of positive thinking, Mike began to share his hard earned wisdom and happiness secrets with others, giving workshops and doing speaking engagements all across Asia with Linda Chandler’s Core Values Training. He also spoke closer to home, doing two recent presentations at Purdue University, expressing his zeal for entrepreneurism.
Mike Fry never lost his sense of humor, even posing for a stunt photo on one of his hospital stays. He died on November 4 after a long illness, but he was wearing a funny hat—and that’s no joke!
Mike waited a long time to marry, waiting until he found his soul mate. He is survived by his beloved wife, Erin Jump Fry, and his daughter, Ella Capri Fry; his sister Deborah Scheiber and brother Robert Fry. He was preceded in death by his parents Darrol and Sylvia Fry.
In a befitting tribute, a joyful celebration of Mike’s life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday November 10 at the Indianapolis Art Center 820 East 67th Street Indianapolis, IN 46220. indplsartcenter.org
It is suggested that in lieu of flowers memorial gifts be made to the educational trust established for Mike’s daughter, Ella Capri Fry. Donations will be accepted at any PNC Bank branch, Account Number, 4804273619.
Memorial Arrangements are entrusted to Bussell and Bell Family Funerals, Carmel. Please visit: www.bussellandbell.com, to share memories and read more about Mike’s amazing life.
A wonderful story about Mike and how much he did for the world around him!