Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Friesen (1911-2007)

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David Friesen
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Lawyer, businessman.

Born in Russia on 16 November 1911, he moved with his parents and siblings to Winnipeg in 1924 where he attended Strathcona School. In 1926 the family moved to Carman and he continued his education at Carman School and the Mennonite Collegiate Institute. He later worked as manager of a grocery store in Winnipeg. In 1934, he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the Manitoba Law School, where he graduated with an LLB degree (1939). He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1941 and was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1957. He later received a MSc in Business Administration (University of Minnesota, 1963), an HSG licentiate in Business Administration (St. Gallen, Switzerland, 1968) and a PhD in Economics and Business Administration (St. Gallen, Switzerland, 1973).

In 1951, he co-founded Quality Construction (Qualico Developments Canada Limited), which specialized in residential construction, and Rancho Realty with his wife Katherine Loewen. He was a member of the Christian Businessman’s Committee and was active in the founding of the Mennonite Benevolent Society, serving as its President for many years. He and his wife founded Autumn House Inc., a senior citizen home; Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School, Menno Simons Christian School in Calgary, Alberta and were the founders of the Chair of Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg. He was a founding member of the Crosstown Credit Union. He served as president of the Manitoba Home Builders Association and the German Canadian Business and Professional Associations of Manitoba. He was a member of Winnipeg Planning Committee, Manitoba Bar Association, and the Canadian Bar Association. He received an honorary degree from the University of Winnipeg in 1981.

He died at Winnipeg on 14 April 2007.


“10 new Queen’s Counsel named for Manitoba,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1957, page 1.

“$40,000,000 worth of homes is 14-year quality record,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 March 1965, page 10.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 2007.

“They left their mark,” Winnipeg Free Press, 30 December 2007, page B2.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 November 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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