Paul was born to Cecelia Kling and Elmer Fries, the youngest of three children. He grew up in Belleville and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and graduated from Belleville Township High School. Paul served with the Army’s First Cavalry Division during the Korean War both in Korea and Japan. When he returned home, he worked for the United States Postal Service.
Before departing for Korea, Paul married the love of his life Elizabeth (Betty) Appel. When he returned, he and Betty settled in Belleville and raised their family. He was very proud of his children: Judith (Leonard) Starling, Diane Fries, and Paul (Ann) Fries. He delighted in his grandchildren: Gabriel Fries, Rachel Starling, and Libby and Paul Fries. He loved his many nieces.
After his retirement, Paul and Betty enjoyed traveling and socializing with family and friends until her passing in 2008. In his retirement, Paul enjoyed woodworking, his weekly pinochle games and breakfast outings with friends. These activities infused his life and were the highlights of his week.
Paul was a devout Catholic and an active member of St. Augustine of Canterbury parish. He and Betty were members of the choir. Paul was a member of the Holy Name Society and a faithful worker at the Friday night bingo for many years.
Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Elizabeth (Betty) Appel; parents, Cecelia Kling and Elmer Fries; and sisters, Helen Fries and Delores Wilhelm.
Paul is survived by his children, Judith (Leonard) Starling, Diane Fries, and Paul (Ann) Fries. He is also survived by his grandchildren Gabriel Fries, Rachel Starling, and Libby and Paul Fries. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, as well.
The family would like to thank the nursing and hospice staff at Belleville Memorial Hospital for their kind and compassionate care of their father.
Memorials may be made to St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Monday, January 17, 2022, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL. Masks are required.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, January 17, 2022, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. William McGhee officiating. Masks are required.
Burial will be at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Shiloh, IL.