Cover photo for Harold K Friesen's Obituary
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Harold K Friesen

December 31, 1932 — February 17, 2024

Wichita

Harold K Friesen

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“From the rising of the sun to the setting; the name of the Lord will be praised.” Psalms 113:3


Harold K Friesen is home at last as he took his last breath on earth and was escorted into his Savior’s long-awaited embrace on February 17, 2024, surrounded by family. On December 31, 1932, Harold was born to John A. and Katherine (Rahn) Friesen in the family farmhouse near Mt. Lake, Minn., where he was the 9th of 14 children. Both his paternal and maternal grandparents immigrated from Russia in 1875 and 1889. They settled in a rural German Mennonite Community called Mt. Lake, Minn., as this was their heritage and faith.


Harold graduated from Mt. Lake High School in 1950 at 17. Harold often commented that he graduated in the bottom third of his class, so he marveled at what God had done in his life through continued education. By 1951, the Korean Conflict erupted. Despite being raised Mennonite and raised to be a conscientious objector, Harold joined the Naval Reserve and was selected for active duty. He served from Feb. 1951-Mar.1953 active duty in the U.S. Navy as an electronics technician and from Mar. 1953-Feb.1955 inactive duty in the Naval National Reserves.


In 1951, Harold purchased his first vehicle, a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. He often remarked that his mother’s prayers were the only thing that kept him alive during that time. The family also heard exciting stories about his days of hitchhiking across the country.


After serving in the U.S. Navy, Harold worked as a Technical Director for KSWS-TV near Roswell, NM for two years. During this time, Harold met an Assembly of God Minister, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, and began attending church. Not long after, Harold heard a single word from the Lord, “Waxahachie.” He had never heard the word and had no idea what it could mean. So, he asked his pastor. The pastor told him, “I think the Lord wants you to go to Southwestern Bible College in Waxahachie, Texas.” In a step of faith and over the objections of the T.V. station’s management, Harold resigned from his Television job, moved to Waxahachie, and enrolled in Southwestern Bible College.


While attending Southwestern Bible College, Harold met the love of his life, Elzora Mae Gilbert Rinehart, from Cherokee, Oklahoma. Harold and Elzora (Ellie) were married on April 20, 1956. To this union were born five children, three daughters and two sons. From those early days in Waxahachie, until he departed this life, Harold was defined by his dedication to his Lord and his family.


Harold earned a B.S. in secondary education from Mankato State College in 1960 and an M.A. in Economics at Mankato State College in 1969. Harold taught History for six years in Junior and Senior High in Jackson, MN, and two years in Mt. Lake, MN. He taught Economics three years at Wisconsin State University in Superior, WI.


In August 1973, Harold moved his family to Stillwater, OK, to attend Graduate School at Oklahoma State University, completing his Ed. D. in 1975.


After completing his doctorate, Dr. Harold K Friesen taught in the College of Business at Friends University from 1975-2000, retiring after 25 years at Friends. Twice, Dr. Friesen was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” and named Professor Emeritus by Friends University. He was passionate about teaching, cared deeply for his students, and was a much-loved professor. Additionally, from June 1982 to July 1983, Harold, Elzora, and their youngest son, James, spent a memorable year in Japan as interim missionaries, teaching conversational English in various settings.


His family always came first for Harold; he always stayed busy fishing and hunting in his early years and enjoyed gardening, quilting, playing games, reading, writing poetry, baking, and studying the Word of God. He loved the outdoors and had a sense of humor. Harold and Elzora enjoyed traveling and were able to make a long-desired trip to the Holy Land in 2013.


Words used to describe Harold’s character are integrity, strong work ethic, commitment, caring, disciplined, and a man of faith.


Harold was preceded in death by his father and mother, three sisters, Tina Friesen, Helen (Harry) Regher, and Olga (Glen) Schmidt, and six brothers, Gerhard Friesen, Jake( Ardith) Friesen, Ben (Ann and Raevella) Friesen, Orlando (Delores) Friesen, Erwin (Janet) Friesen, and John Friesen.


He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Elzora Mae Friesen; daughter, Brenda Thompson and husband, Lynn of Stillwater, OK; daughter, Jeretta Eash and husband, Joe of Newton, KS; daughter, Dawn Profit and husband Darrell of Wichita, KS; son, H. Jon Friesen and wife LeeAnn of Edmond, OK; and son, James Friesen and his partner, Michael Mancuso of Washington DC. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Caleb Thompson, Darrell Jr. Profit, Kaylynn Gruntmeir, Tiffany Cudmore, Erika Profit, Joshua Thompson, Jeremy Friesen, Hilary Eash, Justin Friesen, Hannah Scofield, and Jonathan Eash. Additionally, he is survived by 24 great-grandchildren, 4 brothers, Arthur (Marilyn) Friesen, Earnest (Deb) Friesen, Marvin (Janice), Elvin (Sherry) Friesen, 2 in-laws, Roselyn (Gerhard) Friesen and Elna (John) Friesen.


The family would like to thank all those who have shared in loving Harold and those who have cared for him at the Catholic Care Assisted Living Center and Harry Hynes Hospice. A Celebration of Life Service is planned for Saturday, Feb. 24, at 2:00 pm, with viewing and visitation one hour prior at 1:00 pm, at Cozine Life Events Center, 11500 E. 21st St. N. The service will also be live-streamed for those who are unable to attend in person. Share condolences at www.cozine.com. Services by Cozine Memorial Group-Cozine Life Events Center. Internment will be at Ascension Cemetery in Bel Aire, KS on Friday, Mar. 15, at 2:00 pm with military honors.


A memorial has been established with:

Friends University College of Business

2100 W. University Ave.

Wichita,KS  67213

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