J. Robert Fries, Sr., 91, of Woodvale Drive, Chambersburg, Pa., and Samaniego Drive, Tucson, Ariz., formerly of Waynesboro, Pa., passed away Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013.
Born Aug. 28, 1922, in Waynesboro, he was the son of the late John Royer and Ethel (Myers) Fries and was a graduate of Waynesboro High School with the Class of 1941.
He and his wife, the late Mrs. Miriam (Leiter) Fries, were married in June 1949. They lived on South Potomac Street, Waynesboro, before moving to Oyer Court, Waynesboro, in 1962. She passed away Nov. 29, 1984.
Mr. Fries began his working career as an apprentice at Landis Tool Co., Waynesboro, where he completed both the machinist and drafting trades. While at Landis and later Litton Industries, he was Assistant to President M.A. Hollengreen and then Vice President of International Operations during which he spent eight years managing manufacturing operations in England and France. In 1974, he became Senior Vice President of Fulton Industries (JLG), McConnellsburg, Pa., and was instrumental in expanding international operations in Europe, Asia and Australia. He retired from JLG in 1986 but remained on the Board of Directors until 1995. Following retirement, he formed Penn-Franklin Associates, a consulting firm specializing in international business transactions, which he operated until 1999.
Mr. Fries was selected by the State Department to represent the machine tool industry as a member of the first cultural exchange mission between the United State and Soviet Union in the 1960s. In addition, Mr. Fries was active in SCORE and USAID, working as a volunteer to help individuals and companies in emerging markets implement successful business strategies and achieve economic success.
He was a member of Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waynesboro, active as an usher, on church council and a member of Young Men's Bible Class. He also was a member of the Moose Lodge of Mercersburg, Pa., and the Elks Lodges of Waynesboro and Chambersburg.
Mr. Fries is survived by his daughter Carol A. Fries and son-in-law Art Weiner of Anchorage, Alaska; son Steven M. Fries and daughter-in-law Rebecca Surender of Oxford, England; daughter-in-law, Sondra Fries of Waynesboro; grandchildren, Mark and Rachel Fries of Waynesboro, Anna and Jacob Fries of Oxford, and Loren Furman of Denver Colo.; his partner of 22 years, Joyce Z. Patterson of Chambersburg and Tucson; and a number of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a son, John R. Fries who passed away March 21, 2004; and one sister, Jane Elizabeth (Fries) Gray.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, in Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, 50 S. Broad St., Waynesboro, with the Rev. Dr. David Leiter officiating. Burial will follow in Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, Friday afternoon, in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Penn Hall Benevolent Care Fund, 2011 Scotland Road, Chambersburg, Pa. 17201.
Online condolences may be expressed at:www.bowersoxfuneralhomes.com