Levina Friesen

  • Levina Friesen
  • Date of Passing: May 26, 2023
  • Born: September 5, 1943


Levina Thiessen was born on September 5, 1943, to David and Katherine Thiessen. She was set into the midst of fifteen children and so life was rarely dull. The rigors of farm life on the prairies demanded work from many hands. But Levina had a lifelong ability to find fun in most situations.

The Thiessens lived in Blumenhof, MB, until Levina was the age of 11. They then moved to Mennville, on the northern edge of farm country in Manitoba. She was baptized in 1957 in the Mennville EMC following a personal conversion at the age of 14.

She fell in love and married a neighbor, Harry Friesen on August 28, 1965, with her father officiating. She deeply appreciated the Friesen family she became a part of. For 45 years of marriage her life was shaped by the curiosity and passion for learning, travel, and ministry that she and Harry shared. She claimed they had never stayed in a house for more than four years until she moved to Steinbach in 2001. They had adventures in Steinbach, Blumenhof, Winnipeg, Mennville, Morweena, Vidir, Gimli, Belize, Paraguay, Seminole, Copeland, Tigertown and a brief stay in Mexico. During these sojourns they made countless friends who formed the rich tapestry of their lives. It was Levina’s gift to be a constant centre of security and love for her children through all the moves.

In 1984 Levina and Harry moved to Seminole Texas with their four children. They spent many years there teaching and pastoring. It was there that their love for ministry among Old Colony Mennonites was stirred.

They moved to Steinbach, MB, in 2001 for retirement, such as it was. They continued to travel to Paraguay, Texas and Kansas for interim pastoral ministry. Levina would regale her children and grandchildren with tales of their adventures on their return.

When Harry passed away in 2010, Levina settled into a different and quieter life in Steinbach taken up with service to her church, volunteering at MCC, supporting her children and grandchildren, and enjoying the loving community of the Steinbach EFC church. Levina was a quiet person with a solid circle of deeply loyal friends. Her children and grandchildren will never forget her devoted love.

All her life, the one passion that inspired her love, laughter, tears and service was her delight in the Lord who had saved her and called her to be his child. Levina was known for incredible grit and determination forged through a life committed to follow God’s call.

She had a self-deprecating humour that took other people seriously and herself much less so. Her memoirs relate a scheme she devised at the age of six or seven with two brothers (who will not be implicated here) to drown some chickens behind the barn, for fun. Her mother sensed something was suspicious when she saw the youngest brother peeking out from behind the barn, on duty to warn of trouble coming. Mother’s dash across the yard gave the chickens a new lease on life and Levina and company a severe penalizing.

In childhood her heart was permanently damaged by rheumatic fever. She had a weakened heart all her life. It was this damage that eventually claimed her life at the age of 79.

Levina was predeceased by her husband Harry in 2010.

She is survived by all her Thiessen siblings, her four children and six grandchildren: Sheldon, Layton (Glenda) and their children Carmen and Marcus (Mercedes); Lendra (Willy) and her children Cheyanne and Geneva (fiancé Tyrell); and Galen (Kristin) and their children India and Nyka.

The family would like to thank Levina’s close friends, her extended family, Dr. Longbottom and pastor Ernie Koop for the care that made her life so remarkable right until the morning of her death just before Pentecost, May 26, 2023.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB. Interment will immediately follow at the Memorial Cemetery, Steinbach, MB.

Funeral Details

Funeral Service

  • Birchwood Funeral Chapel
  • 162 Highway 52 W, Steinbach
  • Directions: (Google Map)
  • May 31, 2023 - 2:00 pm


  • Memorial Cemetery
  • McKenzie Avenue, Steinbach
  • Directions: (Google Map)