FRANKFORT, Ind. — A local community finds a unique way to say “goodbye” to a Frankfort man known most for saying “hello.”

“A drive by the street wave of the hand, everybody knew him,” smiled Jeff Hardesty from Frankfort. “No matter what he was doing, he would just give you a smile and a wave.”

Charles Frye was often seen sitting in a tree near his home on Walnut Street. After his wife died in 2020, he began a daily routine of standing on the street corner to wave at anyone who passed by. Two weeks ago, Frye passed away.

“Chuck is my neighbor. When we moved here five years ago I met him and his wife,” said Jennifer Davis, “Living next door, I could always hear the honking and the horns. I always knew when Chuck was out there.”

For his most recent birthday, Frankfort resident Madelyn Carr organized a parade. Dozens of cars drove by to wave at him.

“It was a lot of people. We had almost 450 people interested,” explained Carr, thinking about Charles. “It’s like, wow, this person is taking two seconds out of their day to say, ‘Hi’ to me? It really brought the community together.”

On Thursday, Carr organized a special send off for Frye. People came out to the town square to wave to him one last time as his funeral procession passed by.

“He just brought a smile to everyone’s face when you would drive past him. Everyone knew who Chuck was. If you didn’t then you were living under a rock,” said Suzanne Spicer as she fondly waved where the procession passed. “He could be sitting inside in his warm house, but instead he would go out there just to wave at people as they drove by.”

“It acknowledges that I am alive. I’m here. I think that is what the world is missing,” added Shan Sheridan with the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, “We have become more of a friendly town because of Chuck.”

“There is definitely going to be somebody that is going to, not replace him, but definitely try to patch up everyone’s little emptiness in our hearts now that he is gone,” said Carr.