Catherine Joy Friesen
Catherine Joy Friesen, 41, died Monday, January 27, 2014, at 8:45 p.m. at the
Zilber Family Hospice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was born June 11, 1972,
in Goshen, Indiana, to Dr. G. Weldon and LuEtta Friesen of Goshen. She is
survived by her parents, a brother Carl, Louisville, KY, a sister Cynthia
(James) Coyle, Goshen, nieces Deborah Douglass, Genevieve and Beatrice
Friesen, Rebekah Coyle, great niece Sadie Madero, and partner Don Russell,
Milwaukee. Catherine attended Middlebury Community Schools and
graduated from Bethany Christian High School in 1990. She received a B.A.
in Theater from Goshen College, Goshen IN, in 1996. In 1997 Catherine
attended the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco for Acting. In
2013, she received the MFA in Theater from the University of South Carolina.
She spent a year in Pittsburgh with the PULSE program before moving to
New York City to become the manager of the Menno Guest House in 1997.
She was employed by LREI (Little Red School House) in Manhattan from
August 1999-2010, eventually becoming the Assistant Director of Summer
Programing. In all these years she was also active in theater, performing with
The South Wing in New York City, as well as with numerous other theater
companies. She fulfilled her dream of studying theater full time in 2010.
Catherine moved to Milwaukee in August of 2013. The highlight of her career
was in performing the starring role in Shakespeare's “Hamlet” with the
Cooperative Performance Milwaukee theatre company. She will always be
remembered for her enthusiasm for life, curiosity, creativity, compassion,
kindness, understanding, gentleness, grace, and love. Catherine is a light in
Visitation will be Friday, February 21, from 4-8 P.M.(EST) at the Miller-Stewart
Funeral Home, Middlebury. The memorial service will be Saturday, February
22, at 11:00 A. M. at First Mennonite Church, Middlebury.
Memorial contributions may be given to either Catherine Friesen Memorial
Fund for scholarships for MFA acting candidates at the University of South
Carolina to pursue international internship opportunities, as Catherine had
done in Thailand, or directly to LREI for professional development in using
art with children in the afterschool and summer camp programs at Little Red
School in New York City.
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