Jeffery Allen Fries

May 27, 1958 ~ September 8, 2021 (age 63)


Jeffery Allen Fries, 63, formerly of Hartford, passed away on Sept. 8, 2021, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., from complications of COVID-19.

Jeff was born May 27, 1958, in Watervliet to John and Barbara Fries of Hartford. Jeff attended Bangor Public Schools, and later, Hartford Public Schools, where he graduated in 1976 and assumed the role of bus mechanic. He then attended Southwestern Michigan College, earning his airframe and power plant mechanic’s license. Turning his attention to flying, he earned a private pilot, commercial instrument pilot, and flight instructor’s ratings. Never one to sit still, Jeff attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.

As an engineer, Jeff worked for Ford Motor Company, Whirlpool Corporation, and later retired from Meridian Die Cast of Eaton Rapids. Hobbies consumed most of his free time from flying full scale airplanes to flying radio-controlled airplanes and helicopters to working on classic cars, fishing, scuba diving and his last endeavor: to build a 1/30 scale model of the USS Indianapolis, a ship that his father sailed on in World War II.

Jeff leaves behind a sister, Jean (Mike) Leighton of Gobles; a brother, Jim (Jane) Fries of Bloomingdale; five nephews: Tony Leighton, Brian Leighton, Evan Fries, Brad Newcomb and Scott Newcomb; many great-nieces and nephews; and someone special, Tammy Keller. Jeff was preceded in death by his parents: John and Barbara Fries; and his oldest sibling, John William Fries.

Jeff has been cremated, and the family will hold a memorial service to honor his memory at a later date. People wishing to make a donation should consider the Humane Society - Southwestern Michigan Yeager Family Pet Shelter, or the USS Indianapolis CA-35 Legacy Organization, both of which Jeff was passionate about. The family has entrusted the Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford, with arrangements. Those wishing to leave a condolence for the family may do so at

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Humane Society of Southwest Michigan
5400 Niles Road, St. Joseph MI 49085
Tel: 1-269-927-3303

USS Indianapolis CA-35 Legacy Organization
P.O. Box 16042, Chattanooga TN 37416

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