Anna S. Friesen, 85, of Newton, passed away Friday June 29, 2018, at Newton Presbyterian Manor. She was born Anna S. Doerksen on Nov. 15, 1932, in rural Meade County, the daughter of John and Sara (Reimer) Doerksen. Anna was the fourth of six children born to John and Sara.
Anna and her siblings lived and worked on the family farm. Anna’s father, at the age of 43, was killed by a drunk driver as he was standing by a car on the side of the road instructing Anna’s sister, Lena, where to take the farm equipment. This event had a profound impact on the family for the rest of their lives.
Anna attended Lakeview Elementary School of Fowler for grades one to eight. Lakeview was a small school with only 14 students. She had fond memories of teachers and friends at school. Math was one of Anna’s favorite subjects. Later, she acquired her GED, followed by LPN School in McPherson.
Anna met Alvin Friesen through friends. They were married on Feb. 18, 1962, in rural Meade. They were married 56 years until Alvin’s passing on April 1, 2018. Since Alvin worked in Hesston when they married, and Alvin and Anna resided in Hesston for 53 years until they moved to Newton Presbyterian Manor in early 2015.
Alvin and Anna welcomed their only son, Marc, in September 1974. The family celebrated Alvin and Anna’s 50th wedding anniversary in February 2012 – a celebration Alvin and Anna enjoyed.
Early in their marriage, they stayed around home and worked, taking trips to visit far-away family and to Alvin’s Army reunions. As they aged, they did additional traveling on bus trips as well as an Alaskan and a European tour – trips they greatly enjoyed.
Anna worked for many years as a licensed practical nurse at Axtell and Bethel Hospitals – which later merged into Newton Medical Center. She retired in 2001 at the age of 68.
In addition to working at the hospital, Anna taught children’s Sunday School for many years. She enjoyed gardening, collecting dolls, and watching and listening to Royals baseball. She would tell you, “Royals all the Way.” Once Alvin and Anna moved to Presbyterian Manor, Anna enjoyed playing Skip-Bo on Tuesday nights with other ladies, as well as visiting with residents who became close friends.
Alvin and Anna were members of Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. Anna confessed her faith in Jesus Christ. The hope is that brothers and sisters in Christ will meet Anna again in heaven.
Anna is survived by their son and daughter-in-law, Marc and Sarah, and two grandchildren, Luke and Kate, of Newton. Anna leaves sisters Alma (Lou) Friesen of Edmond, Okla., Sara of Reedley, Calif., and one brother Pete (Lydia) Doerksen of Fowler. Anna also is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Anna was preceded in death by her parents, husband Alvin, and sisters, Lena and Elizabeth.
Visitation will be Thursday, July 5, at Presbyterian Manor Chapel in Newton. Burial will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 6, at Eastlawn Cemetery in Zimmerdale. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. that day at Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston.
Memorials are suggested to Good Shepherd Hospice and may be sent in care of Petersen Funeral Home in Newton.