Eldon “John” Eugene Friesen, 89, of Basehor, Kan., formerly of Ellsworth, Kan., passed away Thursday, June 22, 2023, at the University of Kansas Medical Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. Per John’s wishes, a celebration of life will be held privately for the family.
John was born March 15, 1934, in Hutchinson, Kan., where he grew up then graduated from Hutchison High School. He attended Hutchinson Community College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Pittsburg State University. He later received his master’s degree from Fort Hays State University. John served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1959.
John married Carla June Daniels on June 5, 1960, in Ellsworth. John was an industrial arts high school teacher and coach, impacting students in Ellsworth, Arma, Quivira Heights, Stafford, Hutchinson Correctional Facility and Ellsworth Correctional Facility in Kansas for over 30 years. He and Carla owned and operated O’Donnell Hardware in Ellsworth for 12 years. After many years of service to others, he enjoyed delivering buses across the country, working for Bennett Bus Company. John had a love of woodworking and could build and fix anything and everything, oftentimes teaching others, including his children and grandchildren, craftsmanship in his workshop.
John is survived by his wife of 63 years, Carla Friesen of the home; one son, Andrew Friesen, and his wife Julie of Basehor, Kan., and their children Jace and Delaney; and one daughter, Stephanie Prichard, and Jim Atkin of Overland, Park, Kan., and her children Bryce and Kinley. He loved attending his children’s and grandchildren’s activities and supporting them in all endeavors. John was a loving husband, father and papa who will be dearly missed.
The family suggests memorial contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or the First Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth, 405 N. Lincoln Ave., P.O. Box 154, Ellsworth, KS 67439.