Dr. Leroy E. “Doc” Friesen, age 79 of Menno, S.D., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 at the Menno-Olivet Care Center in Menno surrounded by his loving family. A memorial service was held Saturday, Sept. 14 at Salem Reformed Church in Menno with the Rev. Michael Hecht officiating. Burial was in the Menno Cemetery.
Leroy was born in Henderson, Neb. to Klaus H. and Bertha E. (Mierau) Friesen on April 14, 1940, the fourth of nine children. Early in life, he developed a love for all things related to agriculture, especially farm animals, as evidenced in his choice of education and career. Leroy was joined in marriage to Donna M. Friesen on Nov. 9, 1962 and together they shared nearly 57 years, modeling a loving and Christ-centered marriage to their children and grandchildren. He graduated from Henderson High School in 1958 and received a degree in ag education from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1964. He went on to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State University in 1968. He worked as a veterinarian at his private practice in Menno for over 45 years. He cared deeply for his clients and considered them friends. He enjoyed working on his farm and with his draft horses, playing the guitar, singing gospel music, and spending time with his grandchildren and family. He humbly served all he encountered in many ways, such as prison ministry, Haiti Solar Oven Project, and simply acting as Christ would to everyone he knew. He chose to see the best in people.
Leroy is survived by his wife, Donna (Menno); his four children: Catherine (Doug) Friesen-Eidahl of Groton, S.D., Mieca (Jeff) Valen of Owatonna, Minn., Lee (Michelle) Friesen of Menno and Shawn (Julie) Friesen of Lino Lakes, Minn.; his brothers and sisters: Marjorie (Harvey) Smith of Henderson, Evelyn (Charles) Duerksen of Freeman, S.D., Milford (Jean) Friesen of Red Oak, Iowa, Jim (Peggy) Friesen of Loop City, Neb., Arlyn (Rosie) Friesen of Loop City, Vernon (Clarice) Friesen of Henderson, Beverly (Bill) Wiebe-Brown of Cairo, Neb. and Eleanor (John) Pauls of Andover, Kan.; his grandchildren: Melissa (Jonah) Wonnenberg, Matthew Tabke (and fiancé Lucy Rathjen), Nathan Valen, Hannah Valen, Zachary Valen, Seth Friesen, Grace Valen (and fiancé Wyatt Gatrost), Aidan Friesen, Caleb Friesen, Zinash Valen, Michal Tabke, Addisyn Friesen and Chloe Friesen; and a multitude of nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.
Leroy is preceded in death by his parents, Klaus H. and Bertha Friesen; his parents-in-law, Ruben H. and Esther Friesen; and nephew Gregory Duerksen.
Memorial donations may be made to Menno-Olivet Care Center, 402 S Pine St, Menno, SD 57045. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the Care Center Staff, Pastor Mike, and all his many clients and friends who made living in Menno such a blessing.