FRIESEN, Betty Elizabeth (nee Heide)

June 14, 1934 – January 12, 2023

It is with great sorrow that the family of Betty Elizabeth Friesen announces her peaceful passing on January 12, 2023, at the age of 88. 

Betty was predeceased by her loving husband Elmer, her parents Peter Klaus and Anna Heide, three brothers; Peter, Nick and Johnny and four sisters; Hannah, Helen, Annie and Tina.

Betty’s memory will be cherished by her three children Matthew, Mitchell (Joanne) and Lisa (Erol) Yersel; five grandchildren; Joshua (Sarah), Cole (Jen), Hillary and their mother Lorie, Austin and Kaleigh, four great grandchildren; Sasha, Isabeau, Bishop and Raiden.

Betty was born on the family farm near Gretna, Manitoba and went to MCI where she met the man of her dreams and future husband Elmer Friesen. Betty joined the church and went to work in Winnipeg at Ashdown’s retail store, filing and working as a switchboard operator for two years while she lived with her sisters. In 1955 and at the age of twenty-one, Betty married Elmer. In 1957 they moved to Calgary and were founding members of Foothills Mennonite Church.

Elmer worked for Palm Dairies for twenty-one years, four of which he spent managing the Lethbridge branch before returning to Calgary. In Lethbridge Betty and Elmer joined Coaldale Mennonite Church and really enjoyed the friendships made there. They did not want to move back to Calgary, but the Lord said, “Go” so back to Foothills Mennonite Church they went. Back in Calgary, all the children got married and had children of their own and “Life Was Good”. Elmer always wanted his own store and eventually founded One Way Foods. After many years spent on the road with Palm Dairies, Elmer and Betty worked together for eleven years at One Way Foods and loved it.

They were now able to travel the world and went to places like Israel, Egypt, Europe, Asia, South America and Mexico. Eventually they retired and bought a condominium in Phoenix. Their daughter Lisa, moved with her husband Erol to Cochrane and Betty and Elmer followed. In Cochrane, Betty helped Lisa with Austin, Elmer helped at Erol’s shop and they both loved to volunteer at MCC and Foothills Mennonite Church. 

Betty and Elmer were married 55 years when he suddenly passed away on November 10, 2010. Betty said it was because family and friends were praying for her that she managed to survive without Elmer. Lisa and Erol lived close by and checked on Betty every day, bought her groceries, looked after the yard and took her for drives, trips and appointments. Austin would take Betty out for Teen Burgers, which she loved. Matt often took Betty to church and to the mountains and loved staying overnight to watch her favorite team (the Blue Jays) and movies with her. Mitch and Joanne brought supper out every week and took Betty on trips to Arizona, Mexico and BC. Betty also had wonderful neighbors, Cam and Lena, who shoveled her walk, cleaned her windows, and kept an eye on things.

Betty enjoyed life to the fullest. Her faith in the Lord was incredible and she often used to say, “Life Is Good” but she missed her true love Elmer every moment.  

A private gravesite ceremony will be held at the Cochrane Cemetery for Betty’s family and a viewing will be held at Cochrane Country Funeral Home at 11:30 am on January 27. A Memorial Service is planned for Betty in March at Foothills Mennonite Church. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to MCC at , which does great work all over the world. 

Cochrane Country Funeral Home –

Arrangements entrusted to Emily Champ, Funeral Director

  1. On January 20, 2023 at 11:29 am Ken & Bonnie Sept Said:

    Dear Lisa, Erol and families, so sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. She was a wonderful person. Always loved seeing her at our girls Xmas party’s. Cherish the wonderful memories.

    Love an Hugs
    Ken and Bonnie

  2. On January 20, 2023 at 2:33 pm Roger Leuzinger Said:

    We will always remember almost all of the members of the Heide family who lived across the road from Agnes and Ed Buhrs place. The whole Heide clan were wonderful caring people including Helen (married to my cousin Jack Toews)–Johnny, who was married to my cousin Betty Toews. May they all rest in peace and be assured their legacy will carry on.—-Roger & Yvette Leuzinger

  3. On January 22, 2023 at 12:45 pm Angela, Kevin, Fiona, and Mollie MacPhee Said:

    We were so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. In the short time we spent on her presence during a visit to Erol’s parents’ home, we experienced her as a warm, gentle, and friendly soul. I know she will be greatly missed. We send wishes for peace and comfort in the days ahead. With love, The MacPhees

  4. On January 23, 2023 at 3:01 am John Piera Said:

    Matthew, Mitchell and Lisa,
    Condolences on the passing of your mom. She had such an awesome smile.
    I thought I was an old timer at Foothills, but your mom has me beat by 20 years!
    I’m glad to learn that she was surrounded by family and friends who loved her in her final years.

  5. On January 23, 2023 at 4:47 pm Arlene Gorman Said:

    Please accept my deepest condolences on the very sad news of Betty’s passing. My heart breaks for you at this very difficult time.
    I always enjoyed going along with Matt to visit Betty and share in a meal, glass of wine, and being entertained by her sense of humour.
    I still laugh about her dentist joke – “What time do you go to the dentist?”
    Answer: Two-thirty (Tooth hurty).
    She was such a warm and kind person and always made me feel loved.
    Her family meant the world to her and she to them.
    May you find comfort in the memory of her love and beauty, and all of the special moments you have cherished with her.
    I am honored to have known such a special lady.
    She will be deeply missed.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Send Condolences