It is with profound sadness that the family announces the peaceful passing of Frieda Fast age 79 on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre. According to Frieda's wishes, cremation will take place, and a private service will be held at a later date.
Frieda was the third child of Jacob V. and Anna (Klassen) Poetker, and she grew up on their farm near Mitchell, MB. Even as a child, Frieda was a determined and organized girl who showed early signs of her organizational skills.
As an adult her skills led to being a waitress and then a cook in several different restaurants in the Steinbach area. Later in life she became a home care worker and eventually a Human Resource Coordinator in Steinbach with the Southern Health-Santé Sud region. Frieda seldom needed a phonebook to call any of the 120 or so people she was in charge of.
On July 30th, 1965, Frieda married Dennis Fast from Kleefeld which soon led to a move to Vancouver, BC where Dennis began his studies in English Literature at Simon Fraser University. Stuart, their oldest son was born in New Westminster, BC, followed by Byron 5 years later when Dennis was teaching at Frontier Collegiate in Cranberry Portage, MB.
Frieda was a great cook and loved to “read” recipe books voraciously. Her cooking skills were legendary, and she passed them on to her two sons, Stuart and Byron. Byron and his wife Valerie in turn passed those skills forward to their children, Ada and Adam. Frieda loved her grandkids with great passion and her frequent cookie boxes were always eagerly awaited by them in Grimsby, ON. When grandma lay fading away they returned the favour with cookies from her recipes sent in a box with a cover picturing two Northern Cardinals – grandma's favourite bird. Her ashes will be distributed from that symbolic box.
Frieda also loved sewing, bird watching and photography. In her spare time, she also took a painting class with the Steinbach Arts Council and produced some remarkable paintings. She always regretted that she did not have the time to pursue that hobby more aggressively.
Frieda loved walking and would usually take a 2-4 mile power walk every day after work or whenever possible. She still had enough energy left to create works of flower art in whichever place the family happened to be living. Neighbours smiled as they watched her crawling around pulling out weeds, dead- heading flowers, and even trimming flower bed edges with a small hand spade and a pair of scissors, especially when a garden tour might be imminent.
Unfortunately, Frieda had life-long signs of scoliosis which were not really prominent until a few years ago when she noticed some hesitation in walking and balance and occasional pain from her spine starting to curve. It wasn't too long before the scoliosis led to further deterioration and pain as well as to other issues. In the last 6 months or so, even walking with a walker became a slow and careful experience as pain also worsened.
In the end, even the walker failed her, and she had to be admitted to the Bethesda Hospital where she passed away some weeks later on March 26th, 2023. The family would like to extend much gratitude to all the workers that kept Frieda as comfortable as possible, from home care to a number of doctors, nurses, and therapists. Everyone showed a loving interest and respect for her difficulties.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity that supports recent refugees to Canada.