It is with great sadness that the United States Polo Association announces the passing of Don Barton “Bart” Frye Jr., beloved Virginia Beach Polo Club owner and supporter. A USPA member for over 30 years, Bart passed away on Friday, August 11, 2023, at the age of 79.
Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Fry was an avid baseball and basketball player. He attended Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, where he played both sports while earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Following graduation from Randolph Macon, Fry attended Syracuse University earning a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School.
His degree in public administration and love of redevelopment took him to the Tidewater area of Virginia, where he served as Director of Program Development from 1966-1970, and as Executive Director of Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority from 1970-1978. Fry continued to support and grow the Tidewater area by leading numerous community development and housing programs and played a key role in the conservation of the Old Towne neighborhood, development of the City Hall complex, Harbor Tower, and key waterfront development including the Norfolk-Portsmouth pedestrian ferry service. In 1978, he formed D.B. Frye and Associates, Inc., a real estate development and management firm based in Norfolk, Virginia, which was later expanded to Frye Properties including real estate development, construction, management and sales.
An avid polo player and supporter, Fry’s polo career spanned nearly five decades. In 1974, Fry purchased Alpha Omega Farm, which later became the home of the Virginia Beach Polo Club founded in 1987.
In addition to his business and community activities, Fry was an avid polo player and supporter. In 1974, he purchased Alpha Omega Farm, which later became the home of the Virginia Beach Polo Club founded in 1987. Fry’s polo career spanned nearly five decades during which he collected numerous accolades including the Eastern Circuit Sportsmanship Award in 1994. Fry also an active volunteer in the USPA serving as Co-Chair of the Junior Polo Committee for eight years. Fry’s love of polo also extended to the Aiken Polo Club in Aiken, South Carolina and Florida in the winter. He loved spending time at his farm surrounded by his canine and equine family members, especially his beloved dog, Gus.
Born to Don Barton Frye, Sr. and Lucille Reed Frye, Bart is survived by his wife, Abigail; his daughter, Stephanie (John) Miles; grandsons, William Miles and John Bennett Miles; sister, Patricia Goheen; nieces and nephews Katherine Edwards, Brian (Andrea) Quigley, Linda (Douglas) Smith, Michelle (Jack) Pelkey, Cynthia (Jeffrey) Nichols, Michael Hall, Bart (Amy) Quigley, and many great nieces and nephews, godchildren, his team at Frye Properties, and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Susan (Garry) Hall.