William "Bill" Friesen

October 9, 1928 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 91)

Death notice

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William (Bill) Friesen, in his 92nd year. Dad died peacefully in his sleep at Hospice Huronia Tompkins House on Saturday, May 16, 2020. He was predeceased by his wife, Anna, and his eldest son, Gary. Dad is survived by a family that was most fortunate to have his kindness and gentleness in their lives. This includes his daughter Carole (Joan), and his sons, Steve (Sue Bone), John (Theresa) and Chris (Jackie). He is also survived by grandchildren (Roger, Tricia, Tammy, Michael, Nick, Sarah, Jack, Becca and Jonny) and great-grandchildren (Dallas, Kalab and Madison). He is also survived by his sister and two brothers.

Dad was born on October 9, 1928 in Halbstadt, Manitoba. He spent most of his childhood and early married life in southern Manitoba.  He was trained as a watchmaker and jeweler by his father and moved to Midland in 1966 with his young family to work in his profession. The jewelry business in Midland did not flourish for dad so he turned his skills towards the precision work required at Leitz Canada (now ELCAN) making housings and lenses for Leica cameras.  Upon his retirement in 1993, he spent more time on his favourite hobbies including painting, writing stories and poetry while continuing to repair clocks and watches in the surrounding community.  Dad was a frequent participant at the Askennonia Senior Centre in Midland. He would often regale members with his flare for playing the spoons, singing a song or reciting his many original poems, often by heart. 

Dad was always thankful for what he had, never complaining about what could have been, instead, making the best of all that he encountered in life. Anyone who knew him would agree that he was one of the kindest people they had ever met.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Hospice Huronia where dad spent his last days. Their personal care and emotional support helped guide us through this difficult time. We also thank dad's companion, Ruth, who came into his life, put a bigger smile on his face and helped him along in  his final journey.

If desired, memorial contributions to Hospice Huronia or Askennonia Senior Centre would be appreciated by the family.

As someone who was never short of a word to say, we will let dad’s words speak for themselves:

“As the twilight of my day draws near

And the mist rolls in from the west

I fold my chair and all my gear

After all is said and done

This day has been a lot of fun.”

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