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1930 - 2021
Peter was born in Schanzenfeld, MB to John and Helena Friesen. He was the middle of 13 children. Peter and Susan Fehr (d. 1996) were married in 1951, began farming in Schanzenfeld and were soon joined by three children. At this point, Peter made a career change. With three preschool children, he returned to high school and then teachers' training in Winnipeg. In 1958, Edward School District's one room school was Peter's first teaching job. He taught Canadian and American history in Winkler, Morden and Winnipeg. His work life also included many years as a high school principal in East Kildonan. He thrived as a teacher and school administrator.
Peter was a born optimist with good measure of curiosity and remained so late in life. Unfortunately, his lively mind was overtaken by Alzheimer's disease in the past five years, though his cheerful nature remained to the end.
In his young adult life, he enjoyed playing hockey, curling and coaching baseball. His mechanical aptitude was applied to many of the used cars he drove. He was interested in and enjoyed friendly debates and discussions about education, politics and theology. His grandchildren noted his philosophical bent in a question like: "What is time?" Challenges and losses were met with steadfast trust in God's infinite love and wisdom and he encouraged his family to "keep one eye on reality and one eye on hope." Aside from his work as an educator, he also enjoyed serving in various church leadership roles and as a board member of Youth For Christ for 30 years.
Rita and Peter were married for 15 years - enjoyable rich years for them and their relationship enriched all the family. They moved to Winkler five years ago and there enjoyed the company of siblings and cousins. Here, Peter launched one final project. He was pleased and deeply grateful for the opportunity to help establish a regular Sunday church service at the community assisted living community home where they lived.
He was predeceased by his wife, Susan, daughter, Louella and son, Rodney. He will be missed and lovingly remembered by his wife, Rita, brothers, John, Abe and Irvin, his three children, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, friends, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service was held at Glen Eden Cemetery in Winnipeg.
Donations to honour the memory of Peter can be made to Youth For Christ Winnipeg, 333 King Street, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0N1 www.yfc.ca
Wiebe Funeral Chapel, Morden
In care of arrangements
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 08, 2021
Condolences & Memories (4 entries)
Peter had an easy smile and a twinkle in his eye. He enjoyed a good laugh but also stood firmly but gently for what he believed in. He was a good leader in that he encouraged both staff and students to expand their interests and abilities and their own grounded leadershio skills. Advanced Placement at River East was the second enhancement he pioneered for River East students as he had already led in the development of the International Baccalaureate program at Miles Mac. He enjoyed philosophy and theology as he felt they expressed the core of a who a person really was and that they shaped what a person thought and the actions that followed from those thoughts. He also had a very warm and personal side as shown by providing his wife’s delicious butter tarts at a staff meeting for a very large staff (thanks to her too!). The changes he had chosen moving from farming to education and repairing machinery to preparing minds, made him a very well rounded and enjoyable individual to be around. - Posted by: Barry Esselmont (Former colleague at River East Colleciate) on: Nov 09, 2022
I served as English Department Head when Peter was principal at River East Collegiate. One of Peter’s major achievements in education was the introduction of the Advanced Placement program to River East Collegiate and to Manitoba. As a founder of the Advanced Placement Council of Manitoba which provided professional development opportunities, Peter enabled teachers to develop the competence and confidence required to deliver Advanced Placement courses. In addition, Peter negotiated with universities to gain recognition for students with AP credits. His leadership in this area has provided opportunities for gifted and highly motivated students to gain recognition for their academic achievement in the very tangible form of earning university credit while still in high school. The greatest benefit for students has been to participate in classes with other highly motivated students. The Advanced Placement program in Manitoba is a significant part of Peter Friesen’s educational legacy. - Posted by: Kenneth Clark (Teacher at River East Collegiate ) on: May 10, 2021
Condolences to Joyce, Randy & family. A life well lived. As my Mother said ‘I have accomplished‘ Sounds like Peter could say the same thing. Rest In Peace Peter🙏 you too have accomplished. - Posted by: Lorraine Kovachik (former neighbor of the Locht family) on: May 08, 2021
I worked for Mr. Friesen when he was principal at River East Collegiate. I had great respect for him and enjoyed discussing various topics with him. My condolences to his family. - Posted by: Marcel Matte (Teacher on his staff) on: May 08, 2021
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