Harlan J. Fries

Harlan J. Fries 

1932 – 2024


IDA GROVE - Harlan J. Fries, 91, of Ida Grove, passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Golden Horizons Assisted Living of Ida Grove.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, July 20, 2024, at the Ida Grove Methodist Church of Ida Grove. Dan Rohrbaugh, Lay Minister will officiate. Military Rites will be conducted by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion of Ida Grove.

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.christensenvanhouten.com.

Harlan John Fries, the son of John and Lucile (Paulsen) Fries, was born on July 22, 1932, at their home near Ida Grove. In 1940, the family moved to Hayes Township where Harlan attended grade school and graduated 8th grade. He then attended Arthur High School graduating with the class of 1950. Harlan was baptized in the Arthur Baptist Church.

He worked on several farms until 1953 when he volunteered to go in the U.S. Army where he proudly served his country during the Korean War until his honorary discharge in 1955. On April 17, 1955, he was united in marriage to Joan Collin. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this past April. 

Harlan and Joan farmed and fed cattle for 33 years before they left farming in 1986 and moved out to Littleton, Colorado. Harlan went to work for a real estate developer and became the quality control inspector of all the building sites until he retired. He then found his dream retirement job when he started working at Ace Hardware which he enjoyed immensely and formed many lasting friendships with his “coffee crew.” In 2015, Harlan and Joan decided to return to Iowa to be closer to family.

Harlan was always active in the Methodist Church, both in Odebolt and in Littleton where he served on many committees through the years. The Ida County Conservation Board was one of his favorite appointments as they were developing the Crawford Creek Recreation Area. He served as a 4-H leader and was a member of the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion of Ida Grove since returning from active military duty.      

Family was the most important thing to Harlan and he loved to take his girls on a yearly vacation, especially since he didn’t get to do that growing up. The family camped or stayed in cabins and visited many national parks through the years. Many happy memories were made on those yearly trips.

Left to cherish his memory include his loving wife Joan Fries of Ida Grove; daughters Kari (Dan) Rohrbaugh of Guy, Arkansas, Kelli (Dick) Boyle of Holstein, Kay (Allen) Tscheyka of Alpine, Texas, and Kathy (Andy) Peterson of Fall Creek, Wisconsin; grandchildren Sara (Olen) Hart, Katelyn (Patrick) Turner, Danielle (Darin) Rasmussen, Jayde (Matt) Ockenfels, Peyton Boyle, Lauren (Joe) Green, and Ali (Jeremie) Solem; 10 great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law Hardy Johnson of Oklahoma and Everett (Nancy) Collin of South Carolina; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents John and Lucile Fries; brother Stanley (Martha) Fries; sister Beverly (Dwight) Winquist and Joan Johnson; in-laws Burdette and Myrtle Collin.


Services: Celebration of Life Service, Saturday, July 20 at 2 p.m.

Ida Grove Methodist Church, Ida Grove

Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home • Ida Grove • 712-364-2727


The Holstein Advance

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214 Main St.
Ida Grove, Iowa 51445
Phone:  712-364-3131

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