Title: Thiessen, Richard D.; BK6 File, Oct 2004
Title: Der Bote
Page: 1 Nov 1966, p7
Text: First published in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Merged with Christlicher Bundesbote in 1947. Publication ceased in 2008.
Note: Henry Friesen passed away peacefully on October 16, 2014 at Extendicare Oakview Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the age of 94. Farmer, father, husband and friend, Henry was one of 12 children born into a Mennonite farm family on September 2, 1920 in Grigorievka, Russia (now Ukraine). The Russian revolution was in full swing and although the Friesen family had enjoyed a comfortable life there, they had to pick up and leave for Canada in 1925. Five-year-old Henry and his family made an onerous journey by train to Moscow, then Riga, Latvia, by boat over the turbulent North Sea to England and by ship from Southampton, England to Canada. They headed west to Headingley, Manitoba, further west to McCauley, Manitoba and finally back to a farm on the TransCanada Highway between Headingley and Elie, Manitoba. The resettled family started from scratch. Henry often reminisced fondly about his childhood with his many brothers and sisters, a big and busy family living in very modest circumstances. Henry met his wife Vivian Grace Siemens in 1956. Family legend has it that Vivian was a dental assistant and Henry was her patient when he flashed his movie-star smile at her. Vivian said she was captivated by "those blue eyes." They married in 1957 and had three children: Jared, Julie and Dawna. Henry was passionate about farm life until his final days. He was never much for travel, perhaps that early journey was enough for him. His curiosity was satisfied by watching travel and nature programs on TV and reading National Geographic magazine. But he always encouraged his children to explore, see the world and be anything they wanted. He told his daughters they could do anything boys could do. Henry continued to enjoy the thrill of the harvest well into his 80s as he watched his son farm the land. Henry was a kind and gentle man with a fun loving nature and a ready sense of humour. He laughed easily, often at himself. When he was exasperated by his family he would shake his head and mutter would-be curses in a combination of Russian and Plautdietsch, the Mennonite dialect. Henry is survived by his wife Vivian who resides at Extendicare Oakview Place and he will be fondly remembered by his three children and three grandchildren Dashiell Friesen and Rainer Nguyen-Friesen in Brooklyn, New York and Lucas Friesen in Vancouver. He'll be missed by sisters Helen (Jim) Baron, Betty (Charley) Kaufman, his brother Ed (Pat), and by many nieces and nephews. Henry was predeceased by his brothers: Art (Anne), Dave (Minnie), George (Katherine), Peter (Mary), and his sisters: Sonja (Paul) Reimer, Katja or Kathy (Peter Giesbrecht) Mary (Tony) Perrino, and Nicholas (Doreen). A celebration of Henry's life will be held at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Avenue, on November 8, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. If friends so desire, memorial tributes, in lieu of flowers, can be made directly to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba (toll free 1-800-378-6699 or www.alzheimer.mb.ca). For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit our website. Chapel Lawn www.chapellawn.ca 204-885-9715 Winnipeg Free Press on October 25, 2014
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