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Hilda Justina Durksen Friesen

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The middle child of 4 brothers and 4 sisters, Hilda was born minutes after her twin, Helen. Her chores were milking cows, cutting grapes, and hoeing vegetables. At a young age, Hilda contracted rheumatic fever, which weakened her heart, but that didn’t slow her down. When Hilda was 8, her family moved to be closer to a Christian high school, choosing Eden Christian College near Virgil, Ont. Hilda completed a 7-week teacher training, then went up north to teach a one-room school. Fast forward 5 years, when Hilda, now back in Vineland, met and married the B.C. boy with the brush cut who was selling brushes door to door. She said yes with two provisions: the brush cut and the Fuller Brush job had to go. The new couple moved into a 136-square-foot dormitory at MB Bible College, Winnipeg. Hilda taught school while Walter studied. A similar arrangement was made for their 3 years in London, Ont. In 1970, when Walter was hired by Harbour of Hope Chapel, the couple moved to Port Edward, B.C. There, they adopted their first child, Mark. In 1972, Hilda helped build their house in Abbotsford, B.C., from pouring the footings to nailing roof tiles. They welcomed another chosen child, Heather. In 1973, the family moved to Prince George, B.C., returning to the Fraser Valley in 1975. Hilda worked at Clearbrook Credit Union, the first of four teller jobs. A young client periodically had a small shortfall; she took care of it without drawing attention. Hilda loved telling wild stories and playing jokes; pretending not to know the rules of board games was a favourite. In 1982, the family taught English in China. Opening Modesta Hair Salon with her daughter was both exciting and hard. For their last mission to China in 1998, Jian Hua Foundation sent them to a high plateau to finish one school building, start the foundation of a second, and bring a Christian presence. Hilda’s outgoing manner was perfectly suited for this. Doing crafts with her grandchildren and camping at Derby Reach were special times. Grandma was always up for climbing into a rickety tree fort or swinging on a rope swing. She painted beautiful landscapes and street scenes. After retirement in 2004, Hilda served on the strata council of Cypress Park apartment building; she enjoyed being housemother. Her purpose in life was to walk with God and serve others.


  • Birth: December 28, 1939
  • Birthplace:
    Foam Lake, Sask.
  • Death: March 26, 2024
  • Parents:
    Martin & Justina (Peters) Durksen
  • Married:
    Walter Friesen, July 25, 1964
  • Family:
    Walter; children Mark, Heather; 4 grandchildren; siblings Peter, Martin, Frank, Henry, Annie, Marian
  • Church:
    Clearbrook MB, Abbotsford, B.C.
  • Baptism:
    Foam Lake, Sask. July 25, 1964