Walter Frieson passed peacefully, with love, light and harmony on Thursday, 7:28 p.m. on January 18, 2018 at Brockville General Hospital. He was 95 years old. He was cherished by his children and relations.
Walter is survived by the children of his first wife: his son, James Howard (called Jim) Frieson, Luthier, married to Masayo of Sapporo, Japan, his first daughter Lesley Jane, retired civil servant, last known address Vancouver, B.C., second daughter Catherine Grace, (called Kate), associate professor, Victoria, B.C., married to Sambath Chan of Victoria, B.C., grandchildren, James Langevin-Frieson of Toronto, pianist, Ryu Frieson, high school student and pianist of Sapporo, Japan; Alexander Frieson-Chan of Victoria, University of Victoria Psychology undergraduate student, and his beloved nieces and nephews, who knew him as Uncle Walt, Allison (Rick) Andruchuk, Brant (Claudette) Friesen, Marg (Don) Black, Leslie (Gyl) Toshack, Karen Friesen, Alec (Christy) Friesen, Eric Friesen, Tracy Friesen, Paul (Shannon) Friesen, Dawne Friesen, who have spoken of how special he was to their lives growing up. Many others have been touched by his life and his gifts of love, including the daughters and son of his second wife: David Sherman of Chateau Guay, Quebec, Debbie Burns of Duncan, B.C. and Barbara Sherman of North Grenville, Ontario.
Walter was predeceased by his mother Margueritte,(called Margaret) Friesen (nee Thiessen) and his father Gerhard Peter Friesen of Winnipeg, his first wife Evelyn Joyce Frieson (nee King), his second wife Olive Frieson (Hufton Sherman) and his brothers Alfred, Arthur Jack, and Paul Friesen. It is not known where his brother Edward (Pierette) is located or if he survives (last known address Langley, B.C.)
Walter was born in Ufa, Russia on September 07, 1922. The family immigrated to Canada in 1924, settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Walter served in the Canadian Armed Forces, receiving a Certificate of Service acknowledging his faithful and devoted service from 12 March 1943 - 6 November 1971. He served as a navigator in the Canadian Air Force during its bombing missions over Germany during the Second World War from 1943 to 1945.
Upon returning home to Canada after the war, Walter completed university and served as an advanced computer systems analyst with the Canadian Air Force until his retirement in 1971.
In 1951, in Wingham, Ontario he married Evelyn Joyce Frieson.
In an ironic twist of fate, he was stationed with his wife and children, in Zweibrucken, Germany in the 1950s, a town his bomber targeted during his sorties over Germany as a navigator on bomber planes of the Canadian Air Forces stationed in England during the Second World War.
The family returned to Canada in the early 1960s after and settled in Bells Corners and then in the Glebe, Ottawa. Walter and Joyce were divorced on December 2, 1975 although they had separated some years earlier.
On January 16, 1979, Walter married Olive Hufton Sherman in Ottawa. He enjoyed life as a gentleman farmer in Mountain, Ontario for several years before finally settling in Prescott, Ontario, chosen for its proximity to the wonderful Prescott Golf club, playing in several men’s senior leagues as noted by the Prescott Journal. In one particular event, covered by the Prescott Journal on September 16, 1987, page 5, he was cited as “Fries” in a playoff, a point of particular amusement. He played golf from the time he was a young boy (with his brother Al in Winnipeg, making their own clubs), well into his 90s. He played most days at the Prescott Golf Club in the 1990s and 2000s. He remarked once that golf was the reason why he suffered no arthritic aches or pains of any kind. Walter prepared weekly computerized lists of the men’s players for the Prescott Golf Club starting in the 1980s, for which he wrote the computer code, generating new combinations of foursomes to add variety and fun to the game. That was the kind of man Walter was, thinking more of the greater good than about himself.
Walter loved mathematics and listening to classical music, bluegrass, and folk songs. He composed counterpoint for the piano right up until the last months before his death. He also enjoyed pondering algebraic problems, filling up several notebooks with his formulations and equations. At 95 years of age, he was up one evening late thinking through the wider applications of an algebraic problem that he had satisfactorily solved. He was an avid reader of literature and particularly loved the sonnets of Shakespeare.
For his service in the Community Volunteer Tax Program, which he did from 1999 to 2016, for close to 2,000 seniors and others, living in his area, he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Minister of National Revenue, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency in 2003. He continued to volunteer doing seniors’ taxes until he was 94 years old, surviving many of his clients.
Walter’s very dear friend and neighbour, Margaret Gibson was a devoted and blessed presence in his life, along with her husband Chris, especially in the last three years when he lived alone. She visited and cared for him in every dimension and every day for the last three years of his life. It was because of Marg’s service that Walter could live independently in the home he loved. He loved her cinnamon buns especially, and her warm, loving and fun ways with him.
His other devoted friend was Julie Prophet who looked after his home for seven years on a biweekly basis, and also went to the library to get his books when he could no longer leave the house. Walter would say, “it is the women who look after us men…you women bring culture and civilization to the world…if it wasn’t for you women, we men would still be living in caves banging on rocks…women should be ruling the world”.
Walter will be cremated at Roselawn Crematorium, Maitland, Ontario on Monday, January 22, 2018.
The family would like to thank Dr. Milko and nurse Jamie of Brockville General Hospital for their great care of our father in his final hours.
A family memorial will be held at his home on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 1:00 pm. Condolences can be conveyed at www.irvinememorial.com.
Canadian Air Force
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