Elva May Fried, in her 93rd year, went to be with her Lord on Monday, July 17, 2017 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener. Beloved wife of Howard Fried (deceased 2009) for almost 64 years. Much loved mother of Yvonne Fried and Wayne Kurt of New Dundee and Stephen and Christine Fried of Iowa. Special grandma to Katie Fried and Maggie Fried (Kevin Seemangal). Beloved “foster mum” of Bill Hopkins (Joyce) of Timmins. Dear sister-in-law to Ruth Brown of Ayr. Aunt to many nieces and nephews. Elva was predeceased by her parents Lloyd and Olive (Strome) Diefenbacher and her dear brother and sister-in-law Nyle and Ruth Diefenbacher. Predeceased also by brother and sister in laws Gladys and Henry Innanen, Jean and Carl Schiedel, Jack and Doris Fried, John Brown, Donald Fried and Walter Fried.
Elva and Howard farmed outside of New Dundee on Queen Street their entire lives and successfully developed “Spruce Acres Holsteins” to prominence. Despite helping to milk cows and do the many duties of a farm wife in those times, Elva found time to give of herself to her family, her church and her community.
Elva had a keen desire to contribute by “working” outside of the home. She started her career working for the New Dundee Creamery calculating milk sheets and after taking time off to raise her children, began a career as an Insurance Agent for then North Waterloo Farmers Mutual Insurance with the book of business she purchased from her father. Later she sold her business to Zehr Insurance and continued to work with her clients well into her eighties. Her understanding of farming made her a valuable asset as she worked with many to acquire fire insurance to meet their needs should an unfortunate event occur.
A lifelong member of the Wilmot Centre Missionary Church, Elva was enrolled in the Cradle Roll at birth and the actual certificates of that event are still with the family. She accepted the Lord as her savior at the age of 12. Her many years of contributions to the church included active leadership in children’s Sunday School and Christmas Concerts, youth outreach through “Jet Cadets”, the Women’s Missionary Society and is most remembered lately for her many years as church organist and treasurer.
Elva was a member of the New Dundee Women’s Institute for 69 years, being the oldest member of that branch as of the annual meeting this past April. She held various positions within this organization and lived the motto of the society every day-“For Home and Country”. She participated in leadership roles at the branch, district and area levels in the province of Ontario and enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with many women in activities to improve the local community and our province.
Elva had a passion for history and writing. In her early years, she wrote articles for the Waterloo Chronicle. Her handwritten grade 8 school project-“the History of Rosebank Section” is at the Wilmot Township office as an historical piece of the era. In the opening reflections written in 2014, she cites the many changes to the Rosebank area now and expresses her hope that Rosebank will continue to be a friendly community where neighbours know and help one another. A large binder of historical information on the Wilmot Centre Church is a tribute to her commitment to the church and she most recently developed another large binder of the many aspects of her life. Elva received a final tribute to her passion for history and writing by being recently published in a book called “Ordinary to Extraordinary” created for Canada’s 150 by the Ontario provincial level of the Women’s Institute. While she was too ill to attend the book launching in late June this year, her story “Ninety Years of Memories” was selected as one of the stories to mark this occasion. Over the last few weeks, she enjoyed hearing this story read to her over and over as she began her final journey to rest.
Visitation will be held at the Mark Jutzi Funeral Home, 291 Huron Street, New Hamburg on Sunday, July 23 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and Monday, July 24 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the Wilmot Centre Missionary Church on Tuesday, July 25 at 2:00 p.m., Pastor Wayne Domm officiating. The family has many friends to give special thanks to for all their support and wish to make special mention of Dr. Susan Seyler and special PSW and friend, Deborah Martin.
Expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to World Vision in support of the many children that Elva supported over the last many years or the Wilmot Centre Missionary Church mission fund. Online condolences and memorial tributes can be made at www.markjutzifuneralhomes.ca.