Memorable Manitobans: David Klippenstein “D.K.” Friesen (1910-1991)
Born at Altona on 26 July 1910, son of David Wiens Friesen and Sara Klippenstein (1882-1963), he was educated at the Mennonite Educational Institute. In 1930, he became employed at the family bookstore on Main Street, despite wanting to leaving the community. He agreed to stay on the condition that there would be expansion in the business. The plan was to begin a service to sell school supplies. He would call on schools during the day and package orders at night.
In 1933, he purchased the company’s first printing press which he installed in the basement of the bookstore building. In 1941, he established the Altona Echo which, in 1955, was merged with the Morris Herald to become the Red River Valley Echo. After his father’s retirement in 1948, he served as Chairman and President of the newly established D. W. Friesen & Sons from 1951 until his retirement in 1985.
He had a number of other business interests. In 1946, he founded and was first General Manager of the Co-operative Vegetable Oils Limited (later CSP Foods and now Bunge Canada) and he was the first President of the Altona Co-op Service (now Sun Valley Co-op). He was also a founder and first General Manager of radio station CFAM and its affiliates in Golden West Broadcasting.
On 4 July 1937, he married Mary Theresa Stobbe (1917-2001) at Altona and they had three daughters and two sons. He was President of the Altona Chamber of Commerce and Manitoba Motor League (1963-1964), and served as Mayor of Altona (1969-1975). He served on the boards of the Lower Red River Valley Water Commission, Manitoba Development Fund, and Manitoba Motor League (President, 1963-1964). In 1964, in recognition of his community service, he received a Manitoba Golden Boy Award.
Birth registration [David Friesen], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Marriage registration [David F. Friesen, Mary Theresa Stobbe], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“New president for auto group,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 June 1963.
“9 Golden Boys and Golden Gal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 9 November 1964.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 13 February 1991, page 39.
We thank Holly Thorne for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 September 2023