Ben W. Friesen was born in the R. M. of Hanover on August 23, 1933 to David M. and Katarina Friesen. His early life was filled with challenges, especially when his mother passed away when he was merely two years old. When he was five years old his father remarried, this was quite an adjustment for this young lad.
Ben passed away on the evening of May 25, 2023 at Rest Haven Care Home.
Ben is survived by his wife; Betty, son Ken of Vancouver, and two children Kory and Megan, son-in-law Allan Kehler and three sons, Matthew, Michael and Scott and their families, Larry (Susan) of Airdrie, Alberta, their two children, John and Chyanne and their families, son Paul of Thailand, daughter Sheryl (Darren) Cave, their two children, Jordan and his fiancé and Courtney of Edmonton, Alberta, sister Mary (Peter) Wiebe, sisters-in-law Peggy Friesen, Tina Neufeld, Agnes Kehler and Carol Kehler and their families.
Ben was predeceased by his father; David M. Friesen, mother; Katarina, step mother; Helena, daughters; Arlene, and Gladys, sister; Tina who died in infancy, brother; Dick, brothers-in-law; Peter Neufeld, Cornelius Kehler, Jacob (and Anne) Kehler, Henry Kehler, Peter (Jim) Kehler, sister-in-law; Mary (and Roy) Broesky.
Ben grew up in the RM of Hanover and he attended the Silberfeld Chortitzer Church where he was baptized. He served his church as Sunday School teacher for several years. He married Elizabeth (or Betty) Kehler on Oct. 31, 1954. They farmed in the Seaton area for many years. When they sold the farm and moved to Steinbach, Ben found employment at Loewen Windows, where he worked a very taxing job until he was 75. He was a hardworking man and kept up with many people who were much younger than he was. John and Mathilda remember attending his retirement as his guests. They recall feeling very honored to be asked to attend this important event for Ben as they do not believe this was done for everyone retiring at Loewen.
As with so many people when we start aging, Ben’s health eventually started to fail him. We believe he may have suffered a stroke at some point. Eventually his health declined to a point where it was necessary for them to move into Rest Haven Care Home. Remarkably Ben and Betty were both able to move into Rest Haven in adjoining rooms on June 29, 2022. As difficult as this was, it proved to be the right move for them. As time went on, Ben was unable to communicate his thoughts and this seemed to frustrate him and understandably so. The care at Rest Haven was great. Ben and Betty were always complimentary to the care they received from the staff there. On Tuesday, May 23, Betty called Mathilda and told her that Ben needed John. They went to visit them and found that Ben health seemed to be in a decline. The following day they went to see him and it was evident that he was not doing well. Ben was not able to communicate his thoughts. He basically lay in bed and didn’t eat. His breathing was laboured and shallow. They sang with Ben and prayed that God would wrap his arms around him and walk this journey with him without too much pain or discomfort. On Wednesday, eleven friends and family members dropped in to see him. Then on Thursday evening his granddaughter Chyanne and her husband Curtis arrived from Airdrie, Alberta. They went in to see him and spent about an hour with him and Betty. About 15 minutes after they left, Ben left this world to be with Jesus. We are happy for him but sad for Betty because she finds a deep emptiness with the loss of her husband of nearly 70 years.
Funeral services for Ben Friesen will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023, at 2:00 PM, at Crossings Funeral Care, with viewing one hour prior to the service. For those unable to attend the service in person the family invites you to join them through livestream. Please click here to view the livestream.
The family and caregivers would like to thank the management and staff of Rest Haven for their support and compassionate care of Ben. It was very evident to us that you valued Ben and desired to see him comfortable.
We would also like to thank all of you who have loved and supported Ben through these challenging times through visits and encouraging words.