Clara Elizabeth Theresa Friesen was the first-born child, and only daughter of Fred and Beth Fries. She was born on Jan. 31, 1948. Her parents added 7 brothers to the family and lived in Kindersley, SK on the family farm for the rest of her childhood. She always loved music and as a teenager started taking accordion and then piano lessons. This led to her desire to share her talent by beginning to teach students music.
In the summer of 1969, on June 8th, she married her forever sweetheart Jake Friesen and moved to Saskatoon to start a new life together. In the first few years of their marriage, they welcomed their two daughters and worked hard to scrape together the funds necessary to purchase their first home together. They bought a family bungalow at 17 Tupper Crescent and lived there for 47 years.
As she lay down roots at 17 Tupper she began to build the foundation for a life of serving others. Clara had the ability to walk into any room and immediately make everyone feel special and loved. Her life mantra was to make the lives of those around her better. There was a constant, open and revolving door in their home. It didn’t matter who came to their door, there was always a hug, a homemade meal, an extra bed, open conversation, and a genuine welcome to any and all that came to visit. 17 Tupper became “home away from home,” for countless people. She was devoted to her family and made the decision to work from home while raising their two daughters. To supplement the family income and cultivate her joy of helping others, she began babysitting and resumed teaching music lessons. There was always the sound of music and children laughing in the home, and she continued operating a loving daycare for over 45 years and teaching music lessons for over 55 years.
Clara was always an industrious person and literally was referred to as “the energizer bunny.” She was known for her uncanny ability to crank out high levels of work, often making 60 pies in one day, which she would then share with any and all. She didn’t do anything half-hearted; it was always with a “go big, or go home,” attitude. She applied this “all-in” attitude to everything she did, whether it was gardening, canning or freezing the extensive harvest from the garden, or loving her grandchildren, she gave it everything she had.
Hanging in the entranceway of their family home hung a painting of a boy and his dog and a poem inscribed beneath the picture, it had been given as a gift from a daycare family. The poem written by Forest Witcraft perfectly sums up the legacy that Clara left on her children, her grandchildren and the hundreds and hundreds of children that were blessed to attend her daycare, have her as a music teacher, or have her in their life.
….A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove-but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”