Eva K. Thiessen Friesen was born on January 9, 1942. She was the youngest of eight children born to Henry D. Thiessen and Tina D. Klaassen Thiessen. Eva grew up on a farm 2.5 miles west of Inman. She attended Golden Rule Grade School through the 5th grade until the school consolidated with other small schools to become Countryside Grade School. Eva grew up in the Zoar Mennonite Church. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior upon confession of her faith and was baptized in Dillon Lake, Hutchinson by Reverend Arnold Ensz on August 19, 1956. Eva graduated from Inman Rural High School in 1960 and attended Sterling College for one semester then graduated from Adela Hale School of Business in Hutchinson. Her first job was as a secretary for Western and Southern Life Insurance.
Eva first met Willard as a friend of Joyce, Wayne, and Paul Ensz who were good friends of the family. A few years later, Eva was a 7th grader with Willard at Countryside Grade School. During this year, Willard gave Eva his 6th grade school picture signed “Love, Willard” in red ink. Eva still had this picture. Eva married Willard Friesen on September 16, 1962 at Bethel Mennonite Church. She transferred her membership to Bethel and remained a member until death. Eva taught Sunday School classes, a Wednesday night class, and sang in the church choir. She was also a member of the Homesteaders EHU.
Willie and Eva lived in Hutchinson when their first son, Jeff was born in 1964. Scott was born in 1967. Later that year, they built their first home on 44th street in Hutchinson and lived there for six years. Eva worked nights for three years at First National Bank during this time. Willie was a car salesman at Davis Child in Hutchinson. In 1973, Willie took a job at Reimer Ford in McPherson and the family moved to Inman where they built a home that they lived in until Eva moved to the estates at Pleasant View Home in 2020.
Eva started working for Penner Feed and Supply as a bookkeeper in 1979 and was there for ten years. She then worked as the Inman City Clerk for 23 years until she retired in 2012. After that, Eva was a volunteer Treasurer for the Inman Senior Center. She loved going to the Harvest Cafe for coffee with her friends. This group was very important to her, especially after Willie passed away. Willie and Eva enjoyed friendships with other couples they had grown up with in school and church. Weekends were spent at Kanapolis Lake with these couples. This was a special bond and all of the couples ended up being married for fifty years or more. Willie and Eva almost made it to fifty-three and Willie was the first to break that circle with his death in 2015.
Willie and Eva especially enjoyed attending sporting events that their boys were involved in. Both of the boys made them proud. They both came back to Inman after college and married wonderful girls. They lived three and five blocks from Willie and Eva. There are five grandsons that they were so proud of: Jake, Jason, Jared, Justin, and Jordan. They also were able to enjoy watching them participate in sports and other school events.
After retirement, Willie and Eva were able to take trips by car and that was something that they loved to do. They also had many memories from trips to Cancun, Hawaii, Alaska, and many other vacations. A quote from Eva: “We had trials and illnesses, but God saw us through. To God be the glory!”.
Proceeding Eva in death were her husband, Willie, her parents: Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Thiessen; Willie’s parents: Martin and Ruth Friesen; Sister, Lilly Ann Pankratz and husband Emerson; Brothers, Phil Thiessen and wife Alma, Clarence Thiessen and wife Helen; Ben Thiessen and wife Stella; Leo Thiessen and wife Pat; Brother in-law Jim Stephens; Nephew Greg Thiessen; Niece Janet Thiessen Bever.
Survivors; Jeff and wife Nancy Friesen, Inman; Scott and wife Peggy Friesen, Inman, Sister Sophia Stephens, Inman; Brother Bruce Thiessen and wife Verbie, Inman. Sister in-laws Ann Snyder, Inman and KayLee Thiessen, Denver, CO. Grandsons: Jake Friesen and wife Rebecca, St. Louis, MO; Jason Friesen, Emporia, KS; Jared Friesen, Taiwan; Justin Friesen and wife Krystan, Inman; Jordan Friesen, Manhattan, KS. Nieces and Nephews; Lois, Lyle, Amy, Julie, Diane, Lisa, Tami, Dave, Jennifer, and April and many more relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 PM Friday, March 3, 2023, at Bethel Mennonite Church, with the family present. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, March 4, 2023, at North Inman Cemetery. Celebration of Life Services will follow at 11:00 AM at Bethel Mennonite Church. A meal at the church will follow the service. Services will be live streamed on the Inman Funeral Home Facebook page and the church website. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant View Home or Bethel Mennonite Church, both in care of Inman Funeral Home. To leave a condolence for the family, visit: www.inmanfh.com.