Irving F. Pries, 91, a retired printing company executive and an accomplished musician, died unexpectedly Wednesday (Jan. 31, 2001) in his Amherst home.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Elm Vocational High School. He served for six years with the 106th National Guard, advancing to the rank of staff sergeant.
He worked for 42 years at William J. Keller Printers and Lithographers and was vice president for five years before he retired. He was instrumental in helping the company to become the first to use photo offset printing for scholastic yearbooks. By 1969, it was printing yearbooks for more than 300 high schools and colleges, including the U.S. Naval Academy.
A clarinet and violin player, Pries was assistant musical director for the 106th National Guard Band. He played violin in the Avon Theater to accompany silent movies and played clarinet for Pope's Little Symphony, the Ismailia Shrine Band and other local bands.
He was a member of Mystic Art Lodge, F&AM, now Amherst Lodge, for 55 years. He also was a member of the Buffalo Consistory and the Ismailia Shrine. He edited the monthly Shrine Smile newsletter and directed the Ismailia Shrine Circus program for 10 years.
His wife of 50 years, Alice Goodrich Pries, died in 1997.
Surviving are a daughter, Billie Ellis of Lockport; a sister, Ina Graeber of Buffalo; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.