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Charles "Fred" Prine

1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Charles "Fred" Prine Obituary
Charles "Fred" Prine

Carmel - Born to a humble Indianapolis home, Fred Prine worked his way up the ranks of the metal trade, founding Westfield Steel and leading a major industrial trade group into the 21st century.

Charles F. Prine, 73, of Carmel, died early Monday from pancreatic cancer.

He was born in Indianapolis on May 15, 1945 to Charles L. Prine, a worker on the Allison Division's fighter engine line, and Annabelle (Satterlee) Prine.

They raised him in Indianapolis and the Illinois towns of Pekin and Paris. He returned to graduate from Broad Ripple High School in 1963.

During the day Prine worked on the loading dock at L.S. Ayres and Company before catching on as an inside salesman at Indianapolis Machinery, a downtown steel service center.

At night he attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

After rising to become Machinery's operations and sales office manager, in 1976 he jumped to Chicago-based Metron Steel. In the same year, he wed Karyn P. (Van Korn) Prine and tried to convert her into an Indiana University basketball fan.

Prine rose to become Machinery's operations manager but he left in 1977 to help found Westfield Steel, Inc.

Initially envisioned as a warehouse attached to an established fabricating shop in rural Hamilton County, Prine turned it into a large regional service center. He acquired Terre Haute's Shaw Equipment Company in 1995.

With Karyn on his salesforce, Prine became the sole owner in 1999.

Ten years later, Westfield launched a trucking subsidiary and, in 2016, purchased Ohio-based Remington Steel.

He served on the board of the North American Steel Alliance, a purchasing cooperative for metals service centers in Canada and the United States.

As the group's chairman, he oversaw a push to recruit new members. Today, the organization boasts 121 steel companies that combine to generate nearly $9 billion in annual revenues.

Prine was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by wife Karyn, sons Carl and Fritz, and grandchildren Mia, Spencer, Marcus, Oberon and Maeve.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, at Washington Park North, 2706 Kessler Boulevard West Dr., in Indianapolis.

Funeral services are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, at Cornerstone Lutheran Church, 4850 Main Street, in Carmel.

Burial will follow at Washington Park North.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Riley Children's Foundation or the .

Flanner Buchanan is handling arrangements.
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on June 13, 2018
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