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Frieda (Willms) Martens

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Deaths-Frieda-(Willms)-MartensWhen Frieda’s family immigrated to Canada in 1925, Frieda walked the ship singing and holding her “La-la Buch” (New Testament). The family arrived in Leamington, Ont., then moved to Winnipeg; Grunthal, Man.; Dutchess, Alta.; finally settling in Countess, Alta. Frieda memorized 100 verses to attend camp. She and her brother John sang and played guitar together at church youth events. In 1942, she became mother to her 2 preschool sisters when her mother died. While she was at Coaldale (Alta.) Bible School 1942–45, her father remarried. She attended MB Bible College in 1945, where she met Theodor. He proposed on their first date, beginning a lifetime of ministry together. They served in Hague Ferry, Sask., under Western Children’s Mission. In 1954, MB Mission sent them to DR Congo, where Theodor was on the road preaching 2 weeks out of 3. After malaria depleted Theodor and nearly claimed daughter Carol, the family returned to Canada. Frieda was a frugal cook and talented seamstress. At 60, she earned her driver’s licence and, at 80, completed an adult computer course. Frieda taught Sunday school for 30 years and led Bible studies for 25 years up to 4 times a week. Frieda and Theodor helped establish South Park MB Church, Altona, Man. They grieved the loss of their first great-grandchild. After Theodor’s death, Frieda moved to Alberta, then Moose Jaw, Sask., with her daughter Elizabeth. A kidney infection led to dialysis and a fall put Frieda in a wheelchair, but her faith never failed.

  • Birth: December 28, 1923
  • Birthplace:
    Kleefeld, Ukraine
  • Death: September 27, 2014
  • Parents:
    Aaron J. & Susie (Janzen) Willms
  • Married:
    Theodor Martens, Aug. 24, 1946 [d. December 2002]
  • Family:
    children Robert [d. 1987] (Caroline), Carol (Mark) Pritcher, Elizabeth (Gary [d.]) Hiebert; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren [1 d.]
  • Church:
    South Park MB, Altona, Man.
  • Baptism:
    Niverville, Man., 1940