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Henry P. Friesen

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Henry’s family were pioneer settlers on a 10-acre fruit farm in the Mennonite community in Niagara, Ont. His mother doted on her “sweet Heinz.” She sang her children to sleep. Their dad worked hard in those difficult early years; he was strict but deeply faithful to God. Henry attended Virgil Public School 1939-1947, then Eden High School until 1951. To quote Henry, “God in his great love and mercy saved me at the early age of eleven.” He credited the prayers and example of godly parents. Henry went to Eden Bible School, and then Ryerson Technical College. He trained as an electrical engineer technician, but his heart was always elsewhere: “My spiritual horizon and vision enlarged to include the whole world.” In Toronto, he “caught the vision of the possibility and necessity of doing Sunday School work.” His writings are filled with joy in leading others to the Lord. “God stopped me in my tracks with sickness for the two months it took me to yield to the Holy Spirit’s urging to attend MB Bible College in Winnipeg,” where he trained for missions and met and married M. June Enns. From 1958 on, Henry served as a Bible study leader in college, and then as Sunday School superintendent, in daily vacation Bible school, and at Moody Bible Institute. Henry and June created a warm home where God was always centre, with fun family trips, church activities, nightly reading sessions, and times of correction. God used Bruce’s question, “Dad, are you happy in your Christian life?” and the loss of Henry’s job of 27 years at GE Canada to lead Henry and June to Neuberg, Germany, to work with MCC and refugees in 1984. This was followed by assignments in Akron, Pa., and Nairobi, Kenya. God gave them the world to see as they worked for him. When Henry and June retired to Penticton/Kelowna, they continued to visit family all over and work with MCC on SOOP assignments. Henry was treasurer in Grace MB Church and served The Gleaners. Henry and June moved to Kelowna in 2004 near Pearl and Ernie, Henry’s sister Marg (Vern) Borne, and many Wiebe cousins. Henry loved, followed, and cared for June until her death in 2020; he was the steady and quiet to her energetic busyness. He moved to Smith Creek Baptist Housing, West Kelowna. Henry valued God, family, and the people God gave him to love. Henry died as gently as he lived.

  • Birth: May 15, 1933
  • Birthplace:
    Winona, Ont.
  • Death: July 15, 2023
  • Parents:
    Jacob & Susan Friesen
  • Married:
    M. June Enns, 1958 [d. December 2020]
  • Family:
    children Pearl (Ernie) Fehr, Paul (Bonnie Ewert), Caspar (Jan Picard); 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren
  • Church:
    Fort Garry MB, Winnipeg; Grace MB, Penticton , B.C.; Willow Park MB, Kelowna, B.C.
  • Baptism:
    1948, Virgil (Ont.) MB, 1948