Paul E. Fries – Rupert, Idaho
Paul was born in Albion, ID 11-14-1941 at his grandmother house. He was the youngest of 6 children born to Charles E Fries and Cora E Boosinger Fries. His parents were later divorced and his mother remarried Jim T. Gibson when he was 9 years old.
Paul was raised in Albion until the age of 9 when his mother bought a 40 acre farm northeast of Acequia, ID. He attended school in the area until his sophomore year. He moved to Grangeville, ID to live with his older sister Ruth and completed high school there, graduating in 1959. He then joined the Army but returned home after 6 months to help his mom and stepdad on the farm after his stepdad fell ill. He then joined the National Guard and served for 8 years.
Paul married Mary Jo Ransom on 11-5-1960 and from this union he had 2 daughters; Patricia L and Paula A Fries. They later divorced and he met and married Connie L Praegitzer on 12-26-1969. With her, she brought his 2 bonus sons Michael T. and David S. Praegitzer. Together they continued to grow their family and added Kelli J and Paul E Jr. (Kojak) and later adopted Larry E and Manuel E Fries. Throughout the years he and Connie opened their home fostering around 75 children and welcoming anyone that came along needing a home.
Paul devoted his life to his family and community. He was 20 years old when he started his career as a police officer in Paul, ID. He worked there on the weekends as an officer; during the week he worked there doing odds and ends including the cleaning as well as plumbing. The next year he joined the Rupert City Police Department; there he worked the the ranks eventually being the Chief of Police in 1982. He served as the Chief of Police until 1993 when he was elected as Sheriff. He served his community in the position of the Sheriff until he retired in 2005. In 2008 he served one term as Mayor, retiring once again. He never truly retired because he owned PC’s wash and go where he served coffee daily and hung out with his buddies. Saturdays were a special day of telling stories and drinking coffee, he loved the camaraderie.
Paul attended the National FBI Academy in Quanitco, VA for training. He attending schooling at CSI, he graduated with the first graduating class of officers in 1966 with his Associates of Applied Science. He served as an adviser for the program for many years. He took every opportunity to continue his education by completing many certifications and classes. He was excellent marksman and placed top in many shooting competitions. He took 1st place in his class of 250 in the National FBI Academy in 1975.
Paul is survived by his wife Connie, Patti (Arron) Dixon, Paula (James) Austin, Mike (Rita) Praegitzer, Dave (Kaylene)Praegitzer, Kelli (Clark) Geslin, Kojak (Amy) Fries, 24 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings and their spouses, his son Larry Fries and his grand-daughter Georgia Fries.
In memory of Paul, please continue to act in kindness in all you do. He was humble in his actions, never wanting or needing recognition.
His Life celebration will be held at Grace Community Church on 100 N Meridian at 11:00 a.m. Friday July 3, 2020. There will be a viewing July 2, 2020 at the Historical Wilson Theater from 6-8 pm; located on the Rupert Square.
A special thanks to all the friends who came to visit, Dr. Margo Saunders and the wonderful nurses and staff at Minidoka Memorial Home Health and Hospice.
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