Laura FRIESEN

Laura FRIESEN

Laura Friesen (nee Klassen) passed away peacefully on March 26, 2015 at age 92, surrounded by her family. The oldest of 3 children, Laura was born on August 11, 1922, to Marie (Klippenstein) and Peter P. Klassen in the village of Altona. The family moved to the Pembina Hills when Laura was six. They lived in a number of communities in this area for the following 10 years. Upon returning to Altona at the age of 16, Laura completed grade 12. Here she was baptized on confession of her faith at the Altona Bergthaler Church. It was here she met Cornelius Friesen. They were married on August 29, 1943 and lived in the communities of Gretna, Winkler, Reinland before settling in Altona. During these years five children were born to them: Gloria (John Dyck), Gordon (Nita), Linda, Iris, Wilma (Don Johnson). In Altona, Laura created a loving home for her family, supporting her husband in business, and was actively involved in her church community. Laura and Cornelius left Altona in 1968 and moved to Minneapolis, where she took an active role supporting young US adults performing alternative service during the Vietnam War. In 1971 they moved to Winnipeg where grandparenting became part of her life and where she began her involvement with Mennonite Central Committee. In 1981 they moved to Abbotsford, BC where she became co-manager of Ten Thousand Villages for British Columbia. For Laura, these were treasured years filled with volunteer coordinating, traveling throughout BC, as well as journeying overseas meeting the creators of the crafts they distributed. They were also special years being with her other grandchildren. Laura and Cornelius returned to their familiar roots in Manitoba in 2000, settling in Winnipeg. They moved into the Bethel Place community where they thoroughly enjoyed the rest of their days. Laura and Cornelius were married over 67 years. Laura was predeceased by husband Cornelius Friesen in 2010, daughter-in-law Myrna in 2008, her parents and one brother, Walter. She is survived by her children, 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren, sister Erna, sister-in-law Anne Kroeker and uncle Harry Klippenstein, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service for Laura was held on Monday, March 30 at 11:00 am at Bethel Mennonite Church, 465 Stafford St., Winnipeg. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ten Thousand Villages 134 Plaza Drive; Winnipeg, MB R3T 5K9.


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