Funeral For:  Helen Friesen 
Funeral Date: February 1, 2024 
Helen Friesen, 87, of Austin passed away Friday, January 26th ta Gladstone Health Centre. She was predeceased by her husband Peter Friesen. 
The funeral service for Helen Friesen will be held Thursday, February 1st 2pm at MacGregor Sommerfeld Church with burial at Austin Sommerfeld Cemetery. 
Viewing will be at Clarke’s Funeral Chapel, MacGregor Wednesday, January 31st from 5 to 7pm. 
Donations may be made to the Kidney Foundation of Manitoba. 
Arrangements by Clarke’s Funeral Chapel, MacGregor.  

Helen Friesen, (nee Wieler), daughter of Henry and Aganetha Wieler (nee Penner) was born on February 22, 1936, in the Stanley Municipality. The family lived at Blumstein, MB till 1950, at which time they moved to a farm north of Austin. Being the second oldest in a family with 13 younger siblings afforded her many opportunities to provide childcare, acquiring and using homemaking skills, and carrying huge responsibilities needed to care for such a large family. Helen was baptized upon confession of her faith in the Sommerfeld Church.

In the fall of 1957 Helen began working away from home. She kept house and babysat for 3 years and then worked at Campbell Soup for 4 years. She then worked in the MacGregor Hospital in housekeeping and kitchen, followed by 5 years as nurse’s aide. Then for one year she lived with and cared for an elderly woman who had had a stroke.

Helen moved to Vanderhoof, BC in 1972 and worked as nurses’ aide. On Oct. 5, 1975 she married Pete Friesen and in 1978 they moved to their farm at Pine Creek, MB. They were blessed with their only son Harold in 1979! Pete was diagnosed with cancer and passed away September 8, 1983, after a short 7 years and 11 months of marriage.

Helen and Harold stayed on the farm and appreciated their good neighbours and friends. Helen grew a big garden and together with Harold did farmers’ markets flea markets, selling homemade bread, pies, veggies, jams, and jellies, and her very famous Christmas cakes. Helen was very community-minded, volunteered, loved to shop, and was a driver for many people. After she moved to Evergreen Place in Austin, in 2011, she loved going back to the farm to putter in the garden, and do some cooking for Harold. She also enjoyed running for parts when needed.

Helen loved to read and do puzzles, and was very content to do life in her own quiet way. She had a close circle of friends and enjoyed going for coffee and lunches. She was a kind, helpful mother, sister, friend, and aunt. Her nieces remember her visits, her delightful stories about her life experiences, and her gentle way of helping and caring. She was a great listener, valuing and appreciating visits from friends and family.

Even though she had experienced many difficulties on her journey of life, including Parkinson’s, kidney failure, a stroke, and cancer, she managed to face every challenge with determination and faith in a God that was bigger than anything before her. She planned and prepared ahead for days when her health might fail. And as it did, she was in and out of hospital a few times. Her independent spirit served her well and she remained in her apartment till she was admitted to the hospital on December 21, 2023 when caring for herself become too difficult, but she still longed to go back to her own place where she could be alone and do her own thing. Sadly that was not to be, and she passed away at Gladstone Medical Center on January 26, 2024, with family at her side.

Helen is survived by her son, Harold, 2 sisters: Agatha Harms, and Anne Zacharias (William), 8 brothers: Frank & Helen, Pete & Betty, Abe & Pearl, John & Justina, Bill & Lois, Barney & Annette, Isaac & Anna, and George & Della Wieler, sisters in-law: Helena Wieler, and Vereana Wieler, dear friends, and many nieces and nephews.

Helen was predeceased by her husband Pete on Sept 8, 1983, sisters: Nettie Letkeman (Jake) and Margaret Friesen (Jake), and Margaret in infancy, brothers Henry, Jake, and Pete as a toddler. Also predeceased by in-laws, Tina Fehr (George), John Friesen (Helen), Jake Friesen, Abram Friesen (Mary), and Anna at 15 yrs of age.

The family wishes to express deep gratitude to those who sent cards, notes, flowers, meals, and especially to those who helped and provided care for Helen when she needed it. This support has meant a lot.