MEI Principal, Teacher Hugo Friesen

MEI Principal, Teacher Hugo Friesen

Hugo Friesen passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2019 in the presence of family. A celebration of Hugo’s life and faith will be on Tuesday, March 5 at 1:00 pm at South Abbotsford Church with a reception to follow.



Source: adapted from Wiebe & Jeske

Hugo was predeceased by his parents, Cornelius and Maria Friesen. He is survived by his wife, Jean Friesen, and their children, Cherie (Dennis) Thiessen, Ken (Lynn Bergsma) Friesen, Becky (Dan) Unger, and Karen (Al) Stobbe. Greatly loved by his grandchildren, Joelle (James) Calloway, Michael (Tara Prystay) Thiessen, Laura (Jacob) Woodard, Amy (Ty) Klassen, Allegra Friesen, Simon Friesen, Rachel Unger, Caleb Unger, Karissa Stobbe, and Natasha Stobbe, as well as 9 great grandchildren. Hugo will also be missed by his brothers and sister, Frank (Dora) Friesen, George (Sara) Friesen, and Carol (John) Hiebert. Visitation will be held at South Abbotsford Church on Monday, March 4 between 7 and 8 pm. A celebration of Hugo’s life and faith will be on Tuesday, March 5 at 1:00 pm at South Abbotsford Church with a reception to follow. Donations to Mennonite Central Committee, or Multiply (MB Mission) would be appreciated.

Hugo Friesen was a faithful follower of Jesus, loving husband, father and grandfather, quiet leader, and loyal friend. He enjoyed meaningful conversation, encouraging and supporting people in any way possible. He was involved in God’s work wherever he was.Born in Kenton, Manitoba, Hugo was the second of 4 children of Cornelius and Maria Friesen, recent immigrants from Russia. The family moved to Greendale when Hugo was 3 years old. In his early 20’s, met Jean Wismer. That friendship grew into love, and into a lifelong partnership and marriage. Hugo and Jean settled in Yarrow, where Hugo was a teacher and principal at Sharon High School. It was during this time that they welcomed their four children: Cherie, Ken, Becky, and Karen.

In 1963, Hugo and Jean committed to service through MCC in Hong Kong. Upon their return 3 years later, Hugo resumed teaching. He became principal at the Mennonite Educational Institute, a position he held for 10 years (1969-1979), and where he remained as a teacher for another 10 years (1979-1989).

From The MEI Evergreen: Jubilee Edition

He also spent much time and energy on church committees at South Abbotsford Church and with MCC at both the provincial and national level. Hugo participated with other church members in the settlement and integration of several refugee families to Canada. Assistance developed into friendship which lasted well past the settlement phase. Hugo deeply enjoyed the friendship of these families.

Hugo enjoyed hiking and camping, and spending time with his family and friends – playing golf with his brothers, at family gatherings of the Wismer or Friesen siblings, playing 9-5-2 or “Up and Down the River” with his children and grandchildren, or having refreshments and conversation with friends of all ages. After retiring, Hugo spent many years as an archivist and volunteer at the Mennonite Historical Society. Along with Jean, Hugo also spent more than 4 years of volunteer service with Ten Thousand Villages in Akron, Pennsylvania and New Hamburg, Ontario.

These many years spent leading and supporting institutions and committees are a reflection of the commitment Hugo made to doing God’s work – furthering the cause of peace and justice, supporting the well-being of people near and far around the world, showing God’s love wherever he could. Sharing time with family and friends was equally a reflection of his commitment to loving God by loving those around him. Hugo was committed to God’s work, his wife, Jean, his family and his friends wherever he was.  He will be deeply missed.


Source: Abbotsford News

February 24, 2019
Hugo Friesen passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2019 in the presence of family. Hugo was predeceased by his parents, Cornelius and Maria Friesen.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Friesen, and their children, Cherie (Dennis) Thiessen, Ken (Lynn Bergsma) Friesen, Becky (Dan) Unger, and Karen (Al) Stobbe. Greatly loved by his grandchildren, Joelle (James) Calloway, Michael (Tara Prystay) Thiessen, Laura (Jacob) Woodard, Amy (Ty) Klassen, Allegra Friesen, Simon Friesen, Rachel Unger, Caleb Unger, Karissa Stobbe, and Natasha Stobbe, as well as 9 great grandchildren. Hugo will also be missed by his brothers and sister, Frank (Dora) Friesen, George (Sara) Friesen, and Carol (John) Hiebert.

Visitation will be held at South Abbotsford Church on Monday, March 4 between 7 and 8 pm. A celebration of Hugo’s life and faith will be on Tuesday, March 5 at 1 pm at South Abbotsford Church with a reception to follow. Donations to Mennonite Central Committee, or Multiply (MB Mission) would be appreciated.

Online condolences to the family may be made to: www.wiebeandjeskefh.com. Wiebe & Jeske ~ 604.859.5885.