Dr. Paul Fred Ries passed away on February 16, 2019, of complications from Parkinson’s disease with Lewy Body Dementia. Born to Fred and Violette Ries in Milwaukee, WI, in 1941, Paul was the oldest child of four. He and his siblings, Carol, Bruce, and Gail, were raised in Greendale, WI. As a young man, Paul was active in sports, including baseball, basketball, football and golf. He worked many jobs from a young age, doing paper routes, assisting with milk delivery, being a night watchman, and vending at Milwaukee County Stadium for the Braves and Packers.
Paul enrolled at Carroll College in Waukesha, WI, where he majored in Geography, joined Phi Theta Pi fraternity, and met his future wife, Linda (nee Campbell). They were married in Pewaukee, WI in 1964. His studies took them to the University of Georgia, where he earned a Masters and PhD in Geography with a regional specialty in Latin America. Paul became a professor at Elmhurst College (EC). He eventually chaired the Department of Geography, was instrumental in establishing a major in Environmental Management, and was honored as a Professor Emeritus.
Paul and Linda have three children, Melinda (Mindy), Matthew, and Nathan, and nine grandchildren. While he was a professor, Paul also sold real estate and coached his sons’ little league teams. Every summer, he led his family on driving adventures in their van, traversing the U.S. and Canada. Going camping in Door County, WI, in the Rocky Mountains, and in the Western U.S. were his favorite vacations. At EC, he was known as the ‘professor with the slides,’ because of the thousands of pictures he took on his trips and used in his classes. Professor Ries enthusiastically supported his students’ collegiate events. After retirement, Paul and Linda spent time with their grandkids, researching family genealogy, and making trips to Door County. Paul and his sons took memorable trips to Mexico and Guatemala.
Paul was a loving, patient, and tender father and grandfather with a never-ending teaching and nurturing personality. Family and friends will always remember Paul proclaiming that “Exams are a celebration of knowledge!” and “Today is the kind of day we need to make our own sunshine!” Paul is preceded in death by his parents, and many extended family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Linda, daughter, Mindy, sons Matthew (Lora) and Nathan (Tracy), and his beloved grandchildren: Emma, Robert, Sara, Wesley, Alexandria, William, Violette, Nathan and Prescott.
Paul’s visitation will take place on March 1st from 2-6PM, with service from 6-7PM, at Ahlgrim Funeral Home, 567 S. Spring Rd, Elmhurst, IL. Memorial contributions may be made by selecting the Dr. Paul F. Ries Endowed Scholarship Fund from “Area of Support” at https://www.elmhurst.edu/give or by mail to Office of Institutional Advancement, Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126. Funeral Info. 630-834-3515 or www.ahlgrim.com hide