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Archie “Clint” Fries III March 26, 1940 - December 19, 2023

Archie Clinton (“Clint”) Fries III, age 83, died peacefully at his home in Troutdale, Oregon, on December 19, 2023 after a seven month battle with cancer.

Archie Clinton Fries III was born on March 26, 1940, in Portland, Oregon, to Archie C. Fries Jr. and Grace (Davenport) Fries, as their third child, joining his 10 year-old brother Robert (Bob) and 8 year-old sister, Diane. During his early childhood the family moved to Medford, Oregon, where he received his schooling.

When he was about 12 years old, Clint became interested in electricity, its production and uses. His earlier interest in railroading continued, but it was this interest that developed into a true, life-long study.

About this same time his mother fell ill, and when Clint was 13 years old, his mother died. Several years later his father married Josephine (Jo) (Haupert Benson) Fries, which gave Clint not only a loving step-mother, but also a younger step-brother, William (Bill) Benson, and two younger step-sisters, Judy Benson and Diane Benson.

After his graduation from Ashland High School in 1958, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. There he continued his electrical studies, and put his knowledge to work in maintaining electrical apparatus aboard ship. His naval tour of duty (1958 to 1966) included combat during the Vietnam conflict.

Clint’s professional career of nearly forty years was spent with two electrical utilities, and two electric railroads. At Southern California Edison, and later at the City of Alameda Bureau of Electricity, (now known as Alameda Municipal Power, California), his responsibilities included testing meters as they came into the shop, but more often he was required to test meters “in the field,” that is, while they were in service at a home or business.

Clint had maintained his interest in railroading, and particularly enjoyed researching the history and function of electric interurban railroad lines. When he learned there were plans to build such a railroad in the San Francisco Bay Area, he made application and was accepted to join the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) team of electrical engineers and journeymen in planning and implementing the high-power electrification required for such a system. The experience he gained there later propelled him into a similar opportunity at Portland’s Tri-Met MAX line. He moved his family from the Bay Area to Portland in 1985 and worked there for the next 20 years. By the time of his retirement in 2005, Clint had been promoted to Maintenance of Way Supervisor, and he was responsible not only for electrification on the system, but also for signaling, and platform lighting and maintenance.

After Clint retired, he had a well-equipped shop where he could “tinker.” That usually meant repairing and calibrating vintage and antique electrical meters, but often included refurbishing vintage fans or motors. “Meters, and motors, and fans, oh my!” He also enjoyed reading, especially biographies and history. And he loved people! Because of his hearing deficit he did best visiting with individuals, or at most very small groups, but he especially loved talking about the Lord and encouraging others. He had a keen sense of humor and always enjoyed a good laugh!

Clint grew up in the Presbyterian church. His family went to church regularly: It was the respectable thing to do. He used to say that he thought if he put his 59 minutes and 59 seconds in with God on Sunday, and his dollar in the plate, he would be good (with God) for another week.

As a young adult he investigated other religions, and was particularly drawn to the occult, though he still attended the local Presbyterian church most Sundays. He told of a particular Sunday during the time he was working for BART that he got up and got ready for church. But when he went out, for some reason he walked past his car and down the block to a little “hole in the wall” church. It was there that he heard the plan of salvation through trust in the redemptive blood of Jesus clearly and unmistakably. A few nights later he had a dream in which he saw an open door, with all kinds of enticements beyond. He heard a voice saying that he needed only to go through that door in order to have all his heart could ever desire. But then he heard another voice warning him, “If you go through that door, you will never return.” The room felt hot and oppressive, and he felt being pressed to go through the door. He finally cried out, “Jesus!” Suddenly the scene changed, and the room was cool and filled with peace. He said he confessed to the Lord that he knew he was not living in a way that pleased God, and asked God to take over his life.

Clint quickly found a church where he could be taught the word of God, and fellowship with others believers. It was here, about two years later, that he met Sheila Hartman. He said he had been asking God to choose a wife for him, and this was the one whom God had pointed out. But he still had to convince fair maiden. After a proper courtship, and the maiden being well convinced, they were united in marriage at Shiloh Temple, Oakland, California, on December 15, 1974. They were blessed with a son, Jeremy Fries. Clint was a loving and patient husband and father. He placed his responsibility to lead and care for his family as top priority.

Clint is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Sheila Fries, of Troutdale, Oregon, his son Jeremy (Cate) Fries, and two grandchildren, Isaac Fries and Ruth Fries, all of Dover, England. He is also survived by a nephew, Michael Rhodes, and a niece, Lisa (Greg) Voisen, and their children and grandchildren.

Clint was predeceased by his parents, Archie C. Fries Jr. and Grace Fries, his step-mother Josephine Fries, his brother Robert Fries, and sister Diane Fries Rhodes.

Clint’s remains were buried at Willamette National Cemetery with full military honors on December 28, 2023.

Clint’s remains were buried at Willamette National Cemetery with full military honors on December 28, 2023.

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