James (Jim) Jeffrey Pries, 68, died suddenly on Friday, October 13, 2017. His funeral Mass will be at 11:00 am on Thursday, October 19 at The Church of Christ the King in Byron, MN, with Father John Lasuba celebrating. Visitation will be on Wednesday, October 18, at the Church of Christ the King from 4:00 to 7:00 pm and 1/2 hour prior to the Mass.
Jim was born on his mother's birthday, November 5, 1948, to Wilber and Lorraine (Nigon) Pries, in Rochester, MN. He spent his early years in Eyota, MN and moved with his family to Byron when Jim was in the 7th grade. His dad managed the turkey farm just outside Byron for many years, which kept Jim and his brothers out of trouble most of the time. He then went to work for Kleist Construction of Rochester. Jim received his draft notice in 1968 and went into the Army, spending a year in Vietnam. After his service, Jim started working for Zieman and Pries Construction, owned by Al Zieman and Jim's oldest brother, Frank. They could build or remodel almost anything. Jim's brother, Jerry, joined the firm after Al moved away, and Frank then moved to Wisconsin to farm. Soon, Jerry's son, Brian, joined the partnership. Jerry, Jim and Brian have continued to build new homes, remodel existing homes, build decks, and do other smaller jobs to this day under the name of Pries Brothers Homebuilders.
Jim was active in the Byron Volunteer Fire Department from 1971-1996, serving as chief for nine years. He was also very involved in the Byron American Legion Post 119, becoming a member after he was discharged from the Army in 1971. He was commander for several terms, and was awarded a Life Membership by the post in recognition of his many hours of service to the veterans and their families. Jim was especially proud of the Color and Honor Guard and made sure they were present when needed - veterans' funerals, home football games, the Good Neighbor Day parade, Field of Flags and several school events when requested. He put the flags on veterans' graves in the Byron Cemetery for Memorial Day with help from his sons and then his grandchildren. It would be hard to find a better patriot or one with more loyalty to God and country.
Jim married Suzanne (Sue) Hain on April 8, 1972 and they celebrated 45 years together this year. Sue called him "her prince" because he took such good care of her.
Jim is survived by three sons; Bob (Carrie), Matt (Dusty) and Steve (Melissa), four brothers; Jerry (Sharon), Joe (Shari), Tom (Jeanette), and Dan (Becky) and one sister; Mary (Bruce) Clement. He also has seven grandchildren; Kaci (Troy) Durrow, Katrina (Korey), Haley, Hunter, Isaac, Tyler and Charlie, one great-granddaughter, Nora Durrow, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was eagerly awaiting his first great-grandson who is expected by Christmas. Jim has lost his parents and his oldest brother, Frank (Sue) Pries.
Memorials are suggested to the Byron American Legion Post 119, The Church of Christ the King of Byron, or the Byron Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association, as these are all places that were supported by Jim as a volunteer for most any occasion.
A private burial will be held at the Byron Cemetery at a later date.
Online condolences are welcome at www.byronfuneralhome.com.