James Friesen

January 8, 1935 - May 22, 2020


James Friesen was born to Abram Friesen and Justina Peters on the 8th of January 1935 at the farm residence located at 9-3-4W, Stanley Municipality.

James attended Edward School for grades 1 to 9 and completed high school at the Winkler Collegiate. He served as valedictorian for his graduating class. He received his B.A. And B.Ed. degrees from the University of Manitoba and his FRC designation from AMORC.

James married Patricia May Warkentin of Winkler on December 28, 1961. They were blessed with two children, Michael James and Kimberly Lynn. Their residence was in Westwood, St. James for fifty plus years.

James’ work experience included: general farm labour, Pharmacy Apprentice (E.H. Mann in Winkler), Meat and Grocery Clerk (family business in Winkler), pilot and navigator trainee in the R.C.A.F. (Centralia, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba), Taxi driver (Moores, Winnipeg), rail yard switchman (CNR yards), teacher (Neufeld, Edenburg, St. James-Assiniboia), principal (Birchwood, Jameswood, Lincoln, Sansome), Superintendent of Elementary Schools (St. James- Assiniboia School Division).

His interests included baseball (pitcher for the Winkler Royals), fastball (Black Knights, Westwood Esso, St. James Teachers, etc. – three all-star third baseman in the Industrial League and inducted into the Provincial Hall of Fame), curling (Winkler, Gretna, Dugald, Valour Road, Assiniboine Memorial), golf (member of St. Boniface, Breezy Bend, Charleswood and St. Charles), music (performed with the Shrine Orchestra), Mensa activities (visited Vancouver and New York chapters and served as proctor for Winnipeg Chapter), Freemasonry (member of Mt. Sinaii, Sturgeon Creek and Cornerstone, entered the Scottish Rite and joined the Shrine in Winnipeg, church (member of family Mission in Winkler, founding member of Messiah Lutheran Winnipeg, member of the First Unitarian Church of Winnipeg), reading (major interest in religions and philosophy – hundreds of books became part of his memory experience), father (loved his family beyond his ability to express his sentiments), husband (blessed with the company of his partner, Patricia, for fifty plus years).

His interest was in the friendship of a few and the acquaintance of many – he rarely attended funerals stating that those who were friends had interacted in a meaningful manner while alive and required not his presence in death.

Final message – Life is but a brief period of existence meant to be enjoyed and experienced with all the intricacies of human interaction. Memories become the most prized possession. Treasured memories include the creation of friends, teaching students and appreciating family members. James appreciated the individuals who grew to be a meaningful part of his life.


James Friesen