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MARY FRIESEN (published on April 30, 2009)

MARY FRIESEN Peacefully, and with her family surrounding her, Mom went to her eternal Home, on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at the Arborg Hospital. Mary was born February 12, 1941, in Steinbach, Manitoba, to her parents Sam and Agatha Schroeder. At the age of 12, she, along with her siblings, were placed into foster homes. Mary was blessed to be placed into the home of John Barkmans, in Steinbach, Manitoba. It was in this home that her faith was strengthened, and was baptized upon her Christian faith at the age of 14. Mary developed many new friendships in this home, which is how she met the love of her life, Milton Friesen. They were married June 20, 1958, and settled on Milton's parents' land, north of Riverton. In 1963, they established their own piece of paradise, a farm north of Arborg. In August 2000, the move was made from the farm to the town of Arborg, where they lived for six years, until they moved back to Steinbach. One and a half years later, shortly after Mary's diagnosis of bilateral lung cancer in June 2008, the family relocated Mary and Milton back to Arborg, so that they could once again be close to the majority of their children and grandchildren. Mom was known for her giving spirit and her hard work ethic. Mom and Dad volunteered countless hours through missions, as well as teaching school in Texas and Kansas, on more than one occasion. They volunteered through Mennonite Disaster Service (where Mom would always cook for the crews) in North Carolina, Alabama and California. Mom worked out of the home once her children were old enough to be independent, her first job being at Camp Arnes in the kitchen, of course. Her love for cooking has taken her from her first job at Camp Arnes, to the Arborg Hospital kitchen, Seniors Resource Cooking in Arborg, Doreens Restaurant in Riverton, and her last job at MJ's Restaurant in Steinbach. Mom's love for cooking ensured that all company was well fed -no one left their home hungry! And not only did it taste good, but Mom made sure it looked good as well. Mom was an artist at heart. And this was exemplified by her ability to sew, embroider, and paint. Mom sewed numerous blankets for the Church sewing circle group. This last year, Mom had been unable to get out much, but kept busy at home, still contributing by sewing baby blankets from the comforts of the living room sofa. Mom's artistic spirit also came out in the way her yards were developed. Her ability to plan, develop and maintain her many rock gardens, flowers, trees and vegetable gardens was amazing! She had an awesome green thumb, and could get anything to flourish. She spent many back breaking hours, hauling plate rock to develop pathways and flower beds. The vegetable gardens were also seeded so that there was plenty of produce to share with family, friends and neighbors. Mom loved music. She had not been given the opportunity as a child to play an instrument, but she supported her children to play any instrument they could get their hands on. Mom had an amazing singing voice, a gift she passed on to her children. Mom and Dad's home was always filled with music, either homemade, or listening to something being played. Family time before bed was usually spent singing and making music together as a family. Mom and Dad sang together with friends, in church, and in outreach programs in the area. Mary was predeceased by her parents, Samuel and Agatha Schroeder, her sisters, Emily, Gladys, Valerie, and her granddaughter, Katelyn in July 2008. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Milton; her sons, Roland (Laureen), Roger (Anita), and her daughters, Victoria, and Pat (Del); her grandchildren, Keith (Stacey), Alyssa, Michelle, Stacey, Tyrone (Kelly), Bethany, Nathan, Justin, Jessica, Jayde, and Kyle, and great-grandchildren, Rowan and Bria. Also surviving Mary are her sisters, Doris, Violet (Cliff), Amelia (Bill), Grace (Ben), Sandra (Larry), Rose and Susie; brother Ed; her brother-in-law Ed (Marion); sisters-in-law Sarah (Dave), and Sharon (Leonard) and their families. Also mourning their loss are members of the Barkman family, who lovingly took Mary and accepted her as their own family member, and have continued to love and support her through the years. Viewing will be held at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, 150 Penfeld Drive, Steinbach on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a short service at 7:30 p.m. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Riverton Hall, with viewing one hour prior to the service. Interment to follow at the Mennville Church Cemetery. Pallbearers are the Friesen grandsons, Keith, Tyrone, Justin, Jayde, Kyle and Nathan. In honor of Mary's memory, donations may be made to Mennonite Disaster Service, 306-2265 Pembina Hwy, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5J3. The family is so grateful and appreciative of all the love and support that has been given this last year, during Mom's illness; the many visits and meals have been so helpful. We express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the numerous healthcare members who have been part of the team this last year - Dr. Mokate and Steinbach Hospital staff, Dr. Navarahtnum, Lori, and Cancer Care in Winnipeg; Julie at Gimli Hospital Chemo Department; Arborg Homecare Workers; and Dr. Beukes, and medical and nursing staff at the Arborg Hospital - you are an amazing group of people Thank you! Arrangements by Birchwood Funeral Chapel 1-204-346-1030 or 1-888-454-1030

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