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1980 - 2019

It is with broken hearts that we announce the tragic passing of our beloved husband, father, son and brother, Jonathan Friesen. But with the great loss of his passing on earth, we rejoice in the knowledge that he has joined many family and friends gone ahead to their heavenly home. Jonathan left us while doing what he loved best, serving others in the seat of his favourite airplane. As he liked to sometimes say, "He went out with his boots on!"
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Tanya, son Liam, and daughter Keira; his parents, Klass and Linda Friesen; parents-in-law, Bryan and Jan Williamson; brother Mark, sister Julie (Scott) Williamson, sister Lois (Jonathan) Thiessen, sister-in-law Allison (Kelly) Demoline and sister-in-law Kim Friesen. He so loved his nieces and nephews, Jacob, Riley and Hannah (with Jesus in 2003), Norah, Joseph and Lucy, Zoe, Edom and Edillie. He loved so much to tease them!
Jonathan grew up on the family farm near Riverton, MB where he enjoyed helping with all aspects of farming and raising cattle. Over the years he continued to have strong ties to his home community and enjoyed visits with friends and family there, especially if it meant he could spend a few hours in a tractor. After high school he started his flight training where he met the love of his life. After completing his flight training and getting married, he started his flying career in Ear Falls, ON where he also spent winters doing highway maintenance. His flying career then took him to Bissett, MB to work for Blue Water Aviation. What started out as a stepping stone job turned into a career and the development of a whole new "family". He was never one to sit still so when he wasn't flying he would be on call with the local EMS department, or out in the bush logging, driving truck, plowing driveways, helping with building projects and many other jobs and hands on activities. He loved serving others, and always with utmost humility.
Jonathan's definition of family extended well beyond it's genetic borders. He was blessed to have a flying family that extended well beyond the confines of his job, an EMS family, a huge local community family, as well as friends stretching to the far corners of the globe. He was a man of few words with a huge presence that had a way of making everyone feel special.
The family would like to extend a big thank you to all who have helped out in the last few weeks. The dive teams that worked tirelessly in poor conditions to bring him home, the community members of Little Grand Rapids who helped with the search and provided necessary supplies, the air operators who supplied aircraft and pilots, and the many friends who gave of their time, supplied meals, and were just there to love us!
A celebration of Jonathan's life will be held at the Bissett Community Hall on November 16, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully accepted towards a fund for Liam and Keira's education. Donations can be e-transferred to

& CREMATORIUM, Beausejour
204-268-3510 or MB Toll Free 1-877-776-2220

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 13, 2019

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Our crew has flown with Jonathan in GBTU to our favorite hunting/fishing spot since he started with Bluewater. He was a very skilled pilot who always puhed on getting into the air on time. We will miss him on our future trips. The Boyz of Bushie Lake, Fred, Jason, Len, Larry & Doug - Posted by: Larry Thompson (Client ) on: Nov 20, 2019

  • Sorry for your loss. Jonathan flew us many times into Erik Lake. He will be missed. - Posted by: Jim (acquaintance) on: Nov 17, 2019

  • So very sorry to hear of Jonathon’s passing. He was a kind and considerate man and was always willing to lend a hand. When I delivered fuel he would always ask me if I wanted a coffee..he will be missed. Jim from Nutrien Esso - Posted by: Jim Duhame (Work) on: Nov 16, 2019

  • Our deepest condolences to Johnathan's family. Our son worked at Aikens Lake Lodge this past summer. My husband and I visited and flew in and out with Johnathan. I sat up in the cockpit and shared a conversation with him on how beautiful the area was from the air. It was clear that he loved his job and was very good at it. We are so sorry to hear of his tragic passing. - Posted by: Joanne, Daniel and Sam (acquaintances) on: Nov 15, 2019

  • Tanya, I don't know you personally, but Art and Martha Dueck shared Jonathan's accident with me and have kept me informed since. My husband was a missionary pilot, had thousands of hours flight time and instruction time, had all the ratings possible and was also an A and P mechanic. One morning he left for a flight and never returned. A wing came off the plane and he was able to fly the plane over a mile trying to get to a golf course fairway to make an emergency landing when the second wing came off, the fuselage broke in two and he and his passenger were sucked out and landed in a grove of thick trees. I chose not to see his body as I wanted to remember him as I knew him. I'm writing to you to let you know I understand your pain, your loss, your grieving, and the difficulties of coping. I have been praying for you since I first heard of of it (the day of the crash). My absolute certainty of God's faithfulness and sovereignty was the foundation of the healing journey that followed. Many times a day to begin with, and still, 11 years later, I pray, "Lord, I don't understand, but You have not asked me to understand. You have asked me to trust You" and I do trust that His way is perfect and far beyond my capability to understand. - Posted by: Julie Bult (friend of Art and Martha Dueck, uncle of Jonathan) on: Nov 14, 2019

  • Johnathan will be missed by many. A few words here cannot express the sadness we all feel for his loss Your sorrow is shared all that knew him. Tanya to you and your family I’d like to extend the deepest sympathy on behalf of all of the Gordon’s,Krushell’s and Friesen’s All the best Duane - Posted by: Duane Friesen (Friend) on: Nov 13, 2019

  • Our deepest condolences Tanya to you and your family. You have been in our prayers since this tragedy occurred. Our prayers were answered when Jonathan was returned. We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Philippe & Jackie Lavack (former partners at Aikens Lake Lodge) on: Nov 13, 2019

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