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Guy Fries - October 28, 2009


Guy R. Fries of Benkelman, Neb., died Wednesday, Oct 28, 2009, at the Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman at the age of 86.
He was born July 12, 1923, near Benkelman to Peter Magnus and Lula May (Swain) Fries, and attended school in Rural District 66 and Benkelman High School.
On Aug. 29, 1945, Guy was united in marriage to Melba Ham at St. Francis, Kan. To this union, nine children were born.
Guy devoted his life to farming and embraced this way of life until 2008 when he moved to the Sarah Ann Hester Home in Benkelman.
Guy loved his family, farming and sports. In his younger years he pitched baseball for teams in Benkelman and Max. He was always eager to attend sporting events at both home and away to watch his children and grandchildren play. He was without doubt, one of their biggest fans.
In his spare time Guy enjoyed gardening and was especially proud of raising his watermelons. He also enjoyed a good cup of coffee with his family, friends and neighbors.
Guy was a 73-year member of the Benkelman United Methodist Church and served for 32 years as a school board member for Rural District 66 and the Benkelman School District.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Magnus and Lula Fries; step-mother Bessie Fries; brothers, Dale and Rodney Fries; infant brother, Charles; infant sister, Arda May and step-brother, Hugh T. Jones.
Survivors include his wife of more than 64 years, Melba Fries of Benkelman; children: Barbara and husband Wayne Barent of Ogallala, Neb., Janet and husband Kurt Applegarth of Palisade, Neb., Jerry Fries and wife Cindy of Benkelman, Kenny Fries and wife Marla, also of Benkelman, Susan and husband Galen Todd of Wauneta, Neb., Richard Fries and wife Val, John Fries, Lori and husband Tim Rettele, Connie and husband Craig Kerchal, all of Benkelman; 17 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; step-brother, Robert Jones and wife Irene of Rapid City, S.D.; aunt, Dee Fries of Benkelman; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Ham of Benkelman and Inez Fries of Rapid City S.D.; brother-in-law Ray Ham and wife Pat of Houston, Texas; and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives. He is also survived by Janet’s step-grandson; Barbara’s four step-children; nine step-grandchildren and three step-great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, at 2 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Benkelman with Rev. Brian Fong officiating.
Music was provided by pianist Diana Ham and vocalist Tony Ham. Selections chosen were “Old Rugged Cross” and “How Great Thou Art” and the congregational hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Special Music selected was “Amarillo Sky” as performed by Jason Aldean.
Casketbearers were Scott Todd, Steven Todd, Brian Fries, Josh Fries, Gabe Fries, Matthew Applegarth, Bradley Fries, Joseph Rettele, Colton Kerchal, Noah Kerchal and Jackson Kerchal.
Honorary casketbearers were Amy Frederick, Stephanie Feikert, Dawn Doetker, Amanda Osborn, Sara Bardsley and Alexandria Rettele.
Burial was in the Benkelman Cemetery, Benkelman.
Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman was in charge of arrangements.