Also, it was evident that his church family shared, as did all of us, Ed’s commitment to excellence. The service I attended in Ed’s memory was filled with music and words that exemplified the best that can be said about a life. Those folks in LaGuna Beach work hard, are committed to making the world a better place for all, and cared for each other in all the ways that Ed exemplified in his life. It is clear that Ed’s presence made a difference in that community, just as he made a difference in ours.
I don’t know how others felt, but for me, having Ed in my audience at NRC was a mixed blessing: On the one hand, I knew I was going to get solid feedback on my work and on the other hand, I knew I was going to get solid feedback on my work. Sloppy or less than cogent thought seldom escaped this brilliant man. He understood the power of critique and always assumed the best of his colleagues, which meant, of course, that he was obligated to give solid feedback! Most of us here, know that he published over 100 articles and wrote many books, many of which we have passed on to our students in our classes. His scholarship will live on through these publications.
He was a mentor to several doctoral students, including Trika Smith Burke, as well as to the untold numbers of junior and senior scholars he influenced. He first taught at Loyola College but for most of his career, served as department head and professor at Rutgers University.
In addition to his exemplary commitment to the field of reading research and education, Ed and Cathy supported literacy development in Zimwabee and Uganda. He taught at Makere University in Uganda and founded the University Press in Zimwabee. Colleagues from Africa also attended his memorial service.
In addition to Ed’s service around the world and to the field of reading, Ed fathered two children, daughter Shanti and son Christopher and was step father to two children, Kim and Kirk. His 7 grand children were at the memorial service and their love for him was abundant.
I appreciate this opportunity today to pay tribute to Professor Edward B. Fry. I am sure if he can, he will be letting me know how well I did today.