Come & Go Viewing
Private Family Funeral Service
Obituary of William C.S. Friesen
If you knew dad, you knew that he was a story teller. Everything was about stories. You could learn a lot if you listened to those stories. You’d be transported into the life of those stories. You may learn a bit about yourself and dad. You may even get a history lesson. Or you may just laugh and say, “oh really.”
Dad loved to work. Being born on the family farm, he was introduced to hard work early on. He learned to put his nose to the grindstone, and not to feel sorry for himself. His mom taught him how to cook and clean and his dad taught him how to work in the field.
Throughout dad’s life his value of hard work was seen in his jobs: his 33 year career as a breadman at McGavins, owning his own grocery business, and driving for local dealerships. He loved to work and was always looking for something to do. He was even gifted in the home taking on home chores and in caregiving.
Dad married Olga and together they had two daughters and two sons. They spent the first 13 years living in Winnipeg and then moved to Mitchell.
Dad absolutely loved his grandchildren. When they were young, one might find grandpa on the floor playing with them. As babies, they gladly leapt into his arms for a little cuddle. What joy they brought to him!
However, mom had chronic health issues throughout her life, but dad cared for her. Not only did he have a strong body and could handle a lot of stress, dad also had a soft and kind heart. He had a lot of compassion and did not like to see our mom suffer—he was a caregiver at heart. Even as mom was in the hospital for her last 2 months, dad would visit her every day. He made a calendar for his siblings and recruited them to visit mom. These were difficult and challenging years, but dad rose to the occasion. Mom passed away in February 2003.
When dad turned 75, he encouraged some of his siblings to fly to Newfoundland to attend a family wedding. He said that this was one of his best decisions. He talked about that trip right up to the end of his life. This trip also gave dad a taste for travel. And travel is one thing he previously never had time for.
On December 31, 2003 dad married Laura. He packed his bags and moved to Calgary. They loved to host family, attend the local church, and participate in bible studies. Dad and Laura spent 11 years traveling. They had so much fun on road trips and flying to various hot spots. Some of the places they visited were Mexico, Dominican Republic, Alaska for a cruise, and, finally, in 2015, Costa Rica. He also helped out with various opportunities for volunteering and caregiving.
Dad and Laura moved back to Manitoba in 2014. Their last 7 years were met by many challenges, but again dad rose to the challenge. He had a heart attack in 2015, and his youngest son, Phil, was ill with Lupus for 3 years. He was very close to Phil, and his heart was broken to see him so ill. Dad would visit him almost daily. Phil passed away December 3, 2017. A part of dad was missing. He was sad whenever he would talk about Phil. Laura also fell ill, but dad provided the care she needed which he was glad to do. For example, he drove her to doctor appointments. And despite having to drive, he loved it and said that it was not a hardship.
At the start of 2021, Laura moved back home to Calgary, and dad moved into his daughter’s home. He spent many hours reading. He loved to read from his sister Maria’s book “Our Family Story.” He read every word and kept a book mark in place so he would not lose his spot. Dad also read a book called “A History of the Soviet Russia,” which was in fine print (his eyes were excellent). He poured over the photo albums of family, and, of course, had to watch every Jets game. Movies about true stories were his favorite. He really enjoyed “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13,” and “Breakthrough.” Moreover, many hours were spent listening to the Gaither Gospel Series of Joey & Rory; listening to their story about Rory’s journey through cancer, and listening to their hymns meant so much to him.
Dad talked much about his mom and her wisdom. What he learned from her, he put into practice. She was practical and so was he. One day as he was talking about her, he asked for his Bible, turned to her favourite passage, and read Psalm 100 aloud. I think that day Psalm 100 became his favourite passage as well.
In his last month, Dad loved to go out for daily walks, and to explore the greenhouses. He loved to go out to restaurants. His favourite place and his last visit was at Oakridge Nursery—sitting by the window, watching the birds, and enjoying a bowl of soup with a bit of conversation. Of course, he had Oakridge’s last piece of chocolate cream pie—a treat of all treats.
William C.S. Friesen, aged 92 years, of Steinbach, Manitoba, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2021, at Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Steinbach, Manitoba.
He is survived by his second wife, Laura, his two daughters Alvina (Patrick), Alvera (Paul) one son Al and their families; three sisters, six brothers along with their families.
William was predeceased by his wife Olga and son Philip; one brother and one sister.
A come & go viewing for 10 people at a time will be held on Sunday, May 2, 2021 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.
The livestreamed private family funeral service will take place on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. Please visit the following link shortly before the service to join the family.
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