Helen Friesen (nee Zacharias) age 92 years of Altona, formerly of Neuhorst, Manitoba passed away on Sunday, November 15 at her residence.
She is survived by her children John (Sharon) Friesen, Elmer (Elaine) Friesen, Bob (Marilyn) Friesen, Sherry (Karl) Seibel, Carol (Ed) Rempel, Harv (Dawn Marie) Friesen, Don (Dorothy) Friesen, and Raymond Friesen, as well as 16 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 7 sisters and 2 brothers. She was predeceased by her husband Jacob J Friesen, 2 great grandchildren, and numerous siblings.
Helen Zacharias was born April 15, 1928 in the Thames District to the late Henry P and Mary Zacharias. She grew up on the family farm in Thames. She loved learning and reading. It was not unusual for her to be churning butter with a book in her hand. After completing Grade 10, she ventured to Winnipeg, working at the Marlborough Hotel and Hotel Fort Garry. Along with her sister Marie, their adventurous spirit led them to Waterton Lakes, AB. to work at the Prince of Wales Hotel. She loved this experience and has delighted in going back for visits with son Ray.
Baseball was a very important part in the lives of the Zacharias family. It was at a local game where she met Jake Friesen, her future husband. This friendship grew into a long-lasting relationship. They were married on October 16, 1949. They made their home on a farm in Neuhorst. It was here they raised their children. She worked hard. Gardening, cooking, baking, raising chickens, running a dairy and supporting the mixed farm.
In 1992 Mom and Dad retired from farming and moved to Altona. Mom was an energetic community supporter and volunteer. She has spent countless hours at the local MCC thrift store alongside all her friends. She has served on the MCI Auxiliary, Altona Health Care Auxiliary, Senior Centre Board to name a few. She sang in countless choirs and has many a binder filled with music. Mom and Dad loved to travel. They enjoyed many vacations travelling with friends and family. This love of travelling and learning continued after Dads passing. Mom help organize many bus trips, including her last trip to Newfoundland in 2019.
Mom and Dad were members and faithfully attended and supported the Sommerfeld Church in Runderweide where Mom taught Sunday School for many years.
Mom’s love for baseball continued throughout her life. She was a Blue Jays fan and continued to regularly watch games.
Mom was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She loved her family and enjoyed attending as many events as she could fit in. She was a strong, courageous and fiercely independent woman. She was a forward thinker and occasionally a rebel before her time. She loved a good game of Scrabble. She led by example and appreciated all who came to know her.
Mom got her wish to stay at home until she was called to her eternal home. Rest in peace Mama!
Special thanks to all the caregivers in the last 2 and a half months, pastor Terry Toews, and Wiebe Funeral Home for their kind service.
Donations in memory of Helen may be made to Altona and District Palliative Care.
A private burial as taken place at the Altona Cemetery
A service to celebrate Helen’s life was held on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. The service can be viewed by clicking the video link below.