Pauline Nickel (nee Friesen) - Dec 13, 2012 at Friends Community Church

Peacefully on Saturday, December 8, 2012 beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend Pauline Florence Nickel went to meet her Heavenly Father. During her passing, she was surrounded by her loving family who will dearly miss her. She is survived by her husband of forty-seven (47) years, Alfred; her daughter Paulette (Mike) and their children, Jack and Jorja; her son Darren (Christie) and their children, Payton, Spencer and Carter; her son Chadwick (Sheri-Lyn) and their son Jett; and her youngest son Christopher (Jackie); and her five sisters and four brothers, five sisters-in-law, eight brothers-in-law and their families; and many, many nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her parents and parents-in-law.

Pauline Florence was born in the Morris Hospital on Easter Sunday, April 8, 1944, the first daughter and eldest child of Katherina and Cornelius Friesen. She was baptized on June 19, 1960 at the age of 17 at Rosenort EMMC Church and was an active member of the Graysville Mennonite Church for forty (40) years. Her early years were spent in Morris; she then moved with her family to Roseisle in her late teens, and then to Winnipeg to pursue her Licensed Practical Nurse's training, from which she graduated in 1964 at the age of twenty (20). She proved to be an amazing nurse over a career of thirty-seven (37) years, working in Carman and St. Claude Hospitals. She was well loved by patients, other nurses, staff, and doctors everywhere she worked for her incredible sense of humour, joyous spirit, deep commitment to their well-being and her exemplary sense of responsibility and competence. Many people, including family members, still remember her brightly coloured and patterned undergarments shining through her white nurse's uniform as she made her rounds or returned from work.

Pauline married her first (and last) husband, Alfred, on August 7, 1965 and together they had four beautiful children who repaid them with six (6) grandchildren (another one almost ready to arrive) whom she adored. Everyone who knew her looked forward to her spontaneous and outrageous wit; she loved to laugh and no one could tell a joke better – at family gatherings she often had the whole family in stitches for hours. She was not only generous with her family but also with everyone she met – for her it was the way to act out her profound Christian faith (nurtured in the home where Christ was a constant presence and where she and her siblings from a very young age were encouraged to memorize Bible verses), a faith which remained important to her throughout her sometimes very difficult life. Her compassionate nature, demonstrated in her ever constant concern for others and also born of a deep faith, remained with her until the end.

But she was not only a caring mother and an accomplished nurse, she was also a master at virtually everything she took on – from gardening, crocheting, and baking to artful penmanship, fashion consulting and home decorating to school bus driving – she had an artist's eye, a scientist's mind and a surgeon's skill. Although she would have never considered herself a feminist, she was at the leading edge of opening the world of opportunities to women, showing what was possible for women and taking her rightful place in an often male-dominated world – sometimes this just meant things we now take for granted – hair cut short, jewellery, makeup and further education. She loved to travel and sing, sing, sing – anybody who heard the Friesen's sing will remember her rich Alto voice, making Alto seem almost melodious. She was a health food nut before it was trendy. She leaves a legacy of joy, kindness and self-sacrifice, and fond memories of hilarious laughter and caring action for her family, an example for all of us about how to live our lives.

We are most grateful that, as a family, we had her with us for what turned out to be too short a time and we will always keep her in our hearts. We want to thank all the staff at the Boundary Trails and Carman Hospitals for the wonderful care they offered and for their gracious support in recent times. A special thanks to Dr. Nause and Dr. Woelk. Many, many thanks to our extended families, friends and neighbours for all your love and support. We love you very much.

Until we meet again, Pauline,

Your family.