Paul Bales, 63, of Perry passed away Monday, Dec. 16 at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

Funeral services were held Friday, Dec. 20 at Perry Bible Church in Perry. Burial was in the Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry.

Paul Allen Bales was born on June 21, 1950, at Sioux City to Verle and Catherine (Duff) Bales.

He graduated from East High School in Sioux City. He joined the Air Force, achieving the rank of Sergeant as a mechanic with a specialty in hydraulics. After being discharged, he attended school to be a heavy equipment operator. He moved to Marietta, Ga., and worked as a deputy sheriff for six years before moving back to Sioux City in 1979.

He was united in marriage to Merrilee Riffle on May 24, 1980, in Sioux City. They moved to Sac City, where he was a police officer but prior to leaving there he was police chief for a short time. An opening with the Perry Police Department became available and they moved to Perry in 1983. He worked for the department until 1996, when he began driving truck and was currently driving for Ruan in Des Moines at the time of his death.

Paul was a member of the Perry Bible Church, where he would sing in quartets with his baritone voice, was a choir member and lead singer for the congregation. He was also a member of the NRA and the American Legion Post #85 in Perry. He enjoyed watching Andy Griffith and Gaither Homecoming on television, target shooting and mowing his lawn. He could play the organ by ear and loved the old hymns.

Some words that his family used to describe Paul were patient, kind, gentle, generous, longsuffering, honest, genuine, no work was beneath him, no strings attached to anything he did for you, was a man of few words, liked the good old days, could give you directions to anywhere, was the go-to guy when there was a car problem and never complained. He delighted in his children, was excited about being a grandfather and really enjoyed singing a duet with Aaron last Christmas.

Paul was preceded in death by parents, Catherine and Verle Bales.

Survivors include his wife, Merrilee Bales of Perry; son, Aaron Bales of Waukee; daughter, Ashlee (Ryan) Knepper of Altoona; and a sister, Sharon (Darrol) Lyon of Chico, Calif.

He will also be missed by Arlene Riffle of Perry; Rob (Sharon) Riffle of Flagstaff, Ariz.; Jay (Rose) Riffle of Longville, Minn.; Melody (Dave) Klingensmith of Langley, Canada; and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Carris Family Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Memorials can be given to Perry Bible Church and may be left at the funeral home. Online condolences may be sent at