Harold E. Friesen
Harold E. Friesen was born December 11, 1925, to Jacob and Tena Friesen in Henderson, Nebraska. He was the oldest in a family of 3 boys and 2 girls. He grew up in the small town of Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, Canada, where his father was the grain buyer for United Grain Growers.
Harold started school at age 4, and graduated from high school in 1943 at age 17. Right after high school, he began teacher training school. There was an acute shortage of teachers because of WWII so after completing 8 weeks of training, he was given a special temporary teacher credential and was assigned a school. He taught school from September 1943 through June, 1947.
Harold met a lovely young lady who was part of his community and church, Ann Fast. They began courting in high school, and were married on July 1, 1946. This year, they celebrated 75 years of marriage. In the first year of their marriage, they continued to reside in Saskatchewan. Harold’s family emigrated to Fresno, California, in 1946; in the fall of 1947, Harold and Ann emigrated as well, feeling there would be more economic opportunities.
Harold’s first job in Fresno was as a bookkeeper for the ice company. He worked there steadily for 4 or 5 years as an immigration requirement to prove he could financially support himself and his wife. Later, he began a job with PG&E as a file clerk. In 1965, PG&E consolidated their accounting and he was transferred to San Francisco. At that time, he began taking night classes at Golden Gate College which enabled him to work his way up to manager of Accounts Payable and later, upper management. He retired at the age of 62 in 1987.
Harold and Ann had 4 children: Larry(1950), Charlene(1953), Valerie(1956), and Richard(1963). The family has grown to include 2 daughters-in-law, 2 sons-in-law, 12 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.
Family was important to Harold. Even after moving to the Bay Area, holidays were spent in Fresno with the extended family. Every third year, a long trek to Canada was made for a 2 week vacation to visit grandparents and others. Harold loved to fish and took the time to teach each of his children. Many family vacations were spent at Hume Lake and Lake DeSabla, fishing, swimming, and boating. In retirement, Harold and Ann enjoyed travelling in their motorhome to various US destinations. Since they had children serving abroad, they loved traveling to Mexico, Austria, Bulgaria, and Greece to see them.
Harold’s life was characterized by a faithful walk with the Lord. He was raised in a strong Christian home but it wasn’t until he was 18 that he surrendered his life to the Lord, inviting Jesus in to be his Lord and Savior. In the words of his own testimony: “I TRIED to be a Christian; but as you all know, there is no such a thing as receiving salvation by your own strength. It was during a service in which the speaker spoke on the promises of God and that He should take our hand and not we His that the Lord put His finger on my life. In July 1944, I took Him at His word: ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’” He actively served his Lord as members of the local church wherever they lived, serving as Usher, Trustee, Deacon, Finance Committee, Missions Committee.
Harold’s deep faith and love for his family enabled him to be a loving husband, caring father, grandfather, and great grandfather. On September 4, 2021, Harold was released from this body and promoted to the very presence of Jesus Christ his Savior.
Harold is survived by his wife, Ann, 4 children and their families, and 2 siblings.
In memory of Harold, donations can be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Mail: Wycliffe Bible Translators
P.O. Box 628200
Orlando, FL 32862
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