Our mother, Mary Louise Fricke Friesen, was born February 25, 1931, to Samuel and Katherine Mininger Fricke at Ithaca, Michigan. She quietly passed away in the early morning hours at Bethel Home, Montezuma, KS, on Monday, December 07, 2015, at the age of 84 years, with ones who loved her by her side.
Mom’s childhood was spent in various places, including Michigan; Texas; Greensburg, Kansas; and Cimarron, Kansas. She grew up in the Dirty 30s which taught her how to “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Mom answered God’s call, and upon repentance and confession of her faith, she was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite on November 21, 1943, at Greensburg, Kansas. She embraced and loved the Faith until the end.
Mom was united in marriage with George G. Friesen on February 25, 1951, by her grandfather Hiram Mininger at Cimarron, Kansas. To this union were born 3 sons and 3 daughters. They shared life’s joys and sorrows for nearly 52 years until Dad’s death on January 15, 2003.
After their marriage, Mom and Dad lived in Kansas for several years before moving to Glenn, California. In 1971, they moved to Cumberland, Wisconsin, to fulfill Dad’s dream of dairying. Mom’s next move was to Bethel Home in Montezuma, Kansas, in August of 2007, where she resided until her death.
No one was a stranger to Mom, and many will remember her unselfish giving of food, plants, advice, books, $2 bills, and gum. Mom and Dad opened their hearts and home to everyone they met, including numerous foster children. Their time spent as house parents at the Boys’ Units in West Memphis, Arkansas and Franklin, Louisiana, forged many lasting friendships.
Collecting and sharing a variety of quotes was a special pastime of Mom’s. These short sermons will be remembered and repeated by many.
There were times of sorrow and disappointment in Mom’s life, including the deaths of her Daddy when she was 16 and her brother Bobby, the loss of her dearly beloved husband, and the unexpected deaths of her son George and son-in-law Arlen Jantz. She also bravely and submissively accepted the burden of Parkinson’s. All of this showed Mom’s beautiful spirit and acceptance of God’s will. One week before her death, Merle asked Mom if she was ready to go. She answered with a positive yes and added, “In God’s time.”
Those left behind to cherish precious memories are her children Charlotte (Richard) Wiebe, Tampa, KS; Judy (Harlan) Penner, Barron, WI; Yolanda Friesen, Madrid, NE; Carl (Gail) Friesen, Cumberland, WI; Merle (Rosanna) Friesen, Grant, NE; Joyce (Don) Wenger, Cumberland, WI; 24 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren; a foster son, Allen (Carla) Held and family, Almena, WI; brother Sam (Sandy) Fricke, Ontario, CA; sisters Annabel Smith, Chico, CA; Gertrude (Les) Unruh, Copeland, KS; Johanna (Earl) Schmidt, El Campo, TX; Helen Koehn, Montezuma, KS; Clara (Barton) Koehn, Montezuma, KS; sisters-in-law Dorothy Wedel, Moundridge, KS; Delma Nikkel, Inman, KS; Mary Ann Friesen, Moundridge, KS; Mildred (Clinton) Schmidt, Madrid, NE; many nieces and nephews, a host of other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, a son, a son-in-law, her parents, two brothers, two sisters, ten brothers-in-law, and four sisters-in-law.
We would like to thank Bethel Home for the exceptional care and love they gave to our Mom. Also a heart-felt thank you to a special great-niece Carla and Wes Schmidt and family of Cimarron, KS, who were there for Mom when we could not be.
Funeral service will be held on Monday, December 14, 2015 at 10:30 AM at the Gospel Mennonite Church in Almena, Wisconsin. Burial will follow at the Bethany Cemetery in Almena. Memorials are suggested to Bethel Home in care of the funeral home. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at www.swaimfuneralhome.com.