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Norma Friesen

Norma Friesen, age 92, of Hastings, formerly of Aurora, passed away Thursday, November 21, 2019 at Edgewood Assisted Living Memory Care in Hastings.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Monday, November 25th at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson. Rev. Seth Miller will officiate. Interment will be in the Bethesda Cemetery in Henderson. Visitation will be from 5 - 7 P.M., Sunday at Higby-McQuiston Mortuary in Aurora. Memorials may be made in care of Edgewood Memory Care in Hastings. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Norma Jean Friesen, the daughter of Andrew Harmon and Rennie Oma (Lacey) Harmes, was born at home on a farm near Deshler, Nebraska on April 30, 1927 and passed away in Hastings, Nebraska on November 21, 2019, at the age of 92.

Norma was the youngest of three daughters. She spoke often of riding a horse with the neighbor kids to country school. She was a very good student and earned the highest grades in the county on her final tests. After finishing school, she lived with her oldest sister to help raise her children, before moving to York. Shortly thereafter she moved to Grand Island where she worked at Bosselman and Eaton Truck Stop. Her friend Betty (Friesen) Braun introduced her to her brother Donald J. Friesen.

Norma was united in marriage to Donald Friesen on March 9, 1952 at Chester, Nebraska. They then moved to Belle Gardens, CA where she worked for Fulton Bag Company. Their first child Nancy Diane was born in 1954. After several years they returned to Nebraska and bought a farm south of Aurora. Son Randall Lynn was born in 1958, followed by daughter Valerie Ann in 1964.

Norma and Don retired from farming in 1978. Norma had an incredible work ethic so she was not retired for long. She quickly began working in the kitchen at the Hamilton Manor in Aurora. She really enjoyed her co-workers and the residents there, until she and Don moved to Hastings in 1990.

Norma and Don did some traveling in their RV, but for the most part Norma was a homebody. She loved gardening, reading and needlework. She would bake cookies and bread that she would take to the fair, and they always won purple ribbons. She loved caring for her granddaughters Megan and Britney after school. She, her daughter Val and son-in-law Bruce shared some memorable times butchering chickens at their ranch near Haigler. Her pancakes, chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and cherry pie were remarkable.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don, sister, Evelyn and brother-in-law Harry Holmes, sister, Arlene and brother-in-law Lloyd Derowitsch.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children and spouses, Nancy McElheny & Mark Conway of Denver, Randy (Kelly) Friesen of Hastings and Valerie (Bruce) Woods of Benkelman; grandchildren Megan (Dain) Christensen, Britney (Travis) Fowler, Brianna Woods, Shelby (Russell) Miller, Seth (Makenna) Woods and Justin (Sara) McElheny; great-grandson Lincoln McElheny. She is also survived by many other relatives and friends.

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