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Mike Fryar, Buncombe commissioner, dies at 72
Wednesday, 04 March 2020 00:25

From Staff Reports 

Surrounded by family and friends, Buncombe County District 2 Commissioner Mike Fryar, 72, died Feb. 2, according to a post from his family on his campaign Facebook page.

“We lost a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, friend and county commissioner today,” the post added.

Meanwhile, the Buncombe County website ran a press release headlined, “Mike Fryar, Dedicated County Commissioner, Dies at 72.”

Following is the text of Buncombe’s press release on Fryar’s death that quoted County Manager Avril Pinder:

 “It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we announce Commissioner Mike Fryar passed away on Sunday, Feb. 2. 

“A resident of Buncombe County for more than 55 years, Mike attended A.C. Reynolds High School and then served in the U.S. Navy. 

“He was a small business owner for 32 years and started his career for the legendary NASCAR driver Banjo Matthews. There he displayed his tenacity and knowledge to work his way up and eventually start his own engine company, Fryar Performance. 

“In 2012, Mike was elected to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners representing District 2. He was a respected member of the Board and passionate about representing the people of his district and the entirety of Buncombe County. 

“Mike’s imprint on our organization and the community at-large is undeniable, and he leaves a legacy of having an unwavering dedication of making life better for everyone in Buncombe County.

“On behalf of Buncombe County Government, we wish to express our deepest condolences to the Fryar family during this difficult time.”

The release concluded by noting that a memorial service for Fryar was held Feb. 7 at Trinity Baptist Church of Asheville, followed by a visitation.

In a Feb. 2 story, the Asheville Citizen Times noted that Fryar was born in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and had lived in Buncombe County for more than 55 years. 

“Before being elected to the board of commissioners in 2012, Fryar spent years attending county board meetings,” the ACT added.

Commissioners’ Chairman Brownie Newman issued a statement on Facebook calling Fryar “a passionate advocate for the causes he believed in on the County Commission.”

Newman added, “He was especially focused on the concerns of families and individuals in our community who financially struggle to make ends meet,” Newman wrote. “We frequently debated in our meetings, but just as often found common ground. Mike Fryar was one of a kind, and he will be missed.”

Elsewhere, Asheville television station WLSP (News 13) reported on Feb. 4 that “the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners remembered fellow board member Mike Fryar “during its meeting earlier that evening.

“Fryar died Sunday after a nearly decade-long battle with lung cancer,” WLOS noted.

“The board played a short video showing him serving the county over the last couple decades,” the TV station report stated.

WLOS also reported that, on Feb. 7, during Fryar’s funeral, “a local leader was honored Friday. Family and friends gathered to pay their respects” to him.

The station’s report added, “News 13 cameras were not allowed inside the Trinity Baptist Church, but we’re told the focus of the service was on honoring Fryar’s life, his family, friends and organizations.”

For instance, WLOS noted, “Friend Dee Williams said she and Fryar didn’t always see eye to eye, but she appreciated his direct approach, candor and clarity.... Williams said she will miss talking to Fryar and asking for advice on a number of things.”



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