Alfred S. Friesen, Hesston, Kansas, passed away July 11, 2020 at his home surrounded by family members.
Al, the third child of Henry R. Friesen and Wilhelmina (Minnie) Schmidt, was born at home on February 3, 1926 in Eminence Township, Finney County, east of Garden City, Kansas. He was a survivor of the dust bowl days. He went to school at the country Harmony School for eight years and then the family moved to Meade and he attended two winters of Bible school at Meade Bible Academy. He accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord in 1938 and was baptized. He joined the EMB Church (now Countryside Bible Church) and was a faithful member. Al began working for others at the age of twelve for fifty cents a day. In 1946, Al began his 70 year custom harvesting career. His last contribution was driving grain cart for the Meade harvest in the fall of 2016. At the US Harvesters Convention in January 2017, he was inducted into the US Harvesters’ Hall of Fame.
He married Hilda Agnes Kroeker on September 5, 1950. After 33 rich and full years of marriage, Hilda succumbed to cancer on September 15, 1983. They raised three children: Jeanne Kay, born November 29, 1953, Lyle Keith, born November 20, 1957 and Connie Jo, born January 31, 1960. He added four more children when he married Mary Longenecker Fast on April 27, 1985 in Minnesota.
He was very active in the community and church until hearing loss prevented him from contributing in meetings. During his life he served as trustee and deacon in his church, on the boards of Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), Meade Bible Academy, Youth for Christ, Lone Tree Nursing Home, Great Plains Christian Radio, Farm Bureau, Farm and Home Administration (FHA), Federal Land Bank, and Western Hog Association. For many years he enjoyed singing with his brothers in the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus. In 2017, he turned the farm over to his son and grandsons and moved to Hesston.
“I want to give God all the glory for leading me all the way, and may God lead you, too.
Love you all.” (Submitted by Al himself.)
Al was predeceased by his parents, Henry and Minnie; a sister Ruth; brothers Harry, Ben, and Reuben; his first wife, Hilda, and a step grandson, Joshua Bartel.
Survivors include his wife Mary; children Jeanne and Leon Toews, Lyle and Peggy (Wiens) Friesen, and Connie and Mark Ensz; stepchildren Gerhard and Yvonne (Friesen) Fast, Lenita Fast, Twyla and Tim Bartel, and Margaret and Weldon “Buck” Friesen; grandchildren: Tyson and Lisa Toews, Shannon and Ryan Potter, Carlin and Rebekah Toews, Tanya and Michael Davis, Brandon and Kasey Friesen, Jaden and Jen Friesen, Tinese and Josh Grisanti; Wendy and Brian Seemann, Taylor and Sarah Ensz, and Travis Ensz; step grandchildren Aron and Annie Fast, Beth and John Barthelme, Matthew Bartel, Jonathan Bartel, Randy and Stacy Friesen, Ryan and Jenna Friesen, and Rebecca Friesen; great grandchildren: Audrey, Hannah, and Marcus Toews; Sydney, Zachary, and Whitney Potter; Ainsley Davis; Kylin, Kadon, and Knox Friesen; Ayton and Brylee Friesen; Levi Grisanti; and Adeline Ensz; step great grandchildren: Tyler and Noah Fast, Danielle and Paul Barthelme; brother Walter and Carol Friesen, sisters-in-law Verda Friesen and Joyce Friesen, Hilda’s brothers Elmer and Renetta Kroeker, George and Shirley Kroeker, and Harold and Jane Kroeker, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A gathering and visitation with the family will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday July 19, 2020 at Petersen Funeral Home. A cremation service has been chosen and a memorial service and committal will be announced at a later date in Meade, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested for:
Back to the Bible, PO Box 82808, Lincoln, NE 68501;
Countryside Bible Church, 22012 22 Rd, Meade, KS 67864 or
Garden Community Church, 116 N Main, Hesston, KS 67062
Loved you Uncle Al in many ways!! … Mainly for your unwavering testimony in the Lord our God! What an encouragement for those who follow!…Also for all the special times you provided for us on your wonderful farm & ranch!
I’m sad to hear about Al, prayers for the family. He was a great Christian man that I enjoyed working for on harvest. Many great memories.
A great legacy to follow.
You are in our prayers.
Our love and prayers to the family! There is a ‘hole’ in the family circle… and in our hearts. But we have seen his Heaven-ward focus grow with longing… ‘preferring to be away from the body and at home with the Lord’ … and now he IS!!
II Corinthians 5:8
Prayers on the way. He’s up there with Jesus. How awesome. His rooms ready. His legacy will live on.
A life lived well for Christ.
Cindy and I are sorry to hear of your loss Friesen family. I have great memories of your dad especially when he picked us up in Forgan Oklahoma after our horse trip.
We were sorry to read of Al’s passing , you are certainly in our thoughts and prayers Mary and families ! We were fortunate to enjoy your friendship ! Peace and comfort to all, certainly a life well lived !
Happy to have had him as a brother-in-law. He will be missed!
Our thoughts are with Kansas family at this time.
Dear Family, we send our heartfelt sympathy, love & prayers, “ Al was one of the most humble men I’ve ever known & great encourager,” says John—a gentle giant with a firm hand shake. Many fond memories, John & Lorna
Dear Family, we send our ❤️felt sympathy, love & prayers: Al was one of the most humble men I’ve ever known & great encourager, says John. A gentle giant with a firm hand shake, boots & hat, plus a smile ?. A man who loved we’ll…his family
God, church, community, serving with sincerity & integrity. A man loving the outdoors with cattle, horses(with scars) & farming. A man with adventure, loved harvest & custom combining ~ knowing work & play allowing him to tell many stories. Al spoke words of kindness, showed & lived kindness to his family, crew & friends. Many fond memories ?