Cover photo for John C. Fries's Obituary

John C. Fries

Rio Rancho

John C. Fries
March 12, 1927 - April 2, 2024

Veteran U.S, Merchant Marines World War II, Fireman/Watertender
U.S. Postal Service, Mail Carrier, Retired

John was born in Fresno, CA to John and Mary Fries. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marines, at age 17. He completed boot camp on Catalina Island after which he began a Pacific crossing on the lightly armed victory ship, SS SKAGWAY, carrying a cargo of gasoline. They were fortunate to not encounter any Japanese torpedoes since the basically unarmed Merchant Marines lost more ships and men in World War II than did the entire U.S. Navy. The Skagway moored in Okinawa, Japan harbor with a shipload of gasoline waiting for the island to be secured prior to unloading. On a subsequent Pacific voyage John signed on to the tanker ship SS MISSION SOLANO. While in Yokohama, Japan John rode a train to view the devastation of Hiroshima, an experience that shook him to the core. Subsequently the ship left Japan and transited the Panama Canal eventually docking at Le Harve, France. Again, John was overwhelmed at seeing the utter ruin in France caused by the war. Returning through the Panama Canal they unloaded supplies in the Hawaiian Islands before finally arriving back home to the U.S. mainland at San Pedro, CA. 
After separating from the Merchant Marines John and Doreen Lambel eloped from Fresno, California to Reno, Nevada where they were married.  They settled back in Fresno, John soon became a postal carrier, and they raised their family.  

John was predeceased by his parents; wife of 65 years, Doreen; and brothers Russell, Albert and Donald.  

He is survived by brothers; Richard, Bob, and Harry, and sister; Maryann; daughter; Kathy Lovell and family, of Albuquerque, NM; and son; Tim and family, of Sacramento, CA.  
John was Papa to several grandkids, great grandkids, and great great grands.  
Cremation has taken place and interment of John and Doreen will take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery, Santa Fe, NM.  

Rest in peace, John...see you on the other side.


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