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10-25-21, Carol Mae Fries, 90

Carol Mae Fries, of Ojai, California, passed away peacefully at home on October 25, 2021, at the age of 90 with her family by her side. The matriarch of a large and growing family, Carol lived an extraordinary life and will be missed by all she encountered.

Carol was born to two school teachers in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1930, during the Great Depression.

When she was a young girl, she excelled in the arts and would design dresses, make clothes for her dolls, and design their intricate dollhouse environments. She graduated from Western Hills High School (1948) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

While in high school, one of her dress creations was displayed in the school showcase. Her artistic passions continued throughout her life as she created incredible homes for her family, supported creative programs in her children’s schools, and became an accomplished philanthropist, artist, and community leader.

Carol attended Otterbein University, in Westerville, Ohio, where she studied education. She was a school teacher when she met and married Charles W. Fries in 1951. She paid for her wedding dress, cake, and flowers from money she earned and saved from working.

Carol and Chuck moved to California in 1952 and built a family and a highly successful business in the entertainment industry. Carol was instrumental in her late ex-husband’s long career, which included producing over 5,000 series episodes, 140 television movies and miniseries, and 40 theatrical films.

Carol established a solid family foundation and community in Beverly Hills for nearly 40 years. She enjoyed entertaining, was supportive of the local schools, and believed that a good education was important. She participated in all of her children’s educations by providing funding and personal involvement in class projects and activities such as sports, music, and art. She created and organized fairs, festivals, graduations, and extra-curricular programs. She utilized and shared her artistic and intellectual skills, imprinting them on everyone she encountered in her work, family, and community endeavors.

Carol always made time to help others and contributed to charities over the years. She was the president of Neighbors of Watts (NOW) in Los Angeles, California, raising money for schools, families, and community enrichment programs. She was constantly involved in fundraisers and spearheading many events that supported the local communities where she lived.

Carol’s home was a place that people of all ages felt welcomed and embraced. She always made space at the table and there was plenty of food to share. Her natural ability to make others feel included was indeed a special gift. Her warmth and her uncanny ability to listen deeply made her home a beacon for others.

Carol migrated to Ojai, California from Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, Hollywood Hills, and Carpinteria to live in a peaceful and spiritual location. She was a loving, kind, loyal, and generous mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her seven children; Charles Fries (Jonna), Suzanne Fries-Hostka, Christopher Fries (Heather), Dyanne Fries, Mike Fries (Michelle), Alice Fries, and Jonathan Fries (Lena); 18 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents Alice and Ralph Thompson, brother Robert Thompson, and son Thomas Fries (Debi).

Obit Fries photo

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