Marta Friesen Dec 11, 1923 - Dec 4, 2012 After an exciting life on five continents, Marta Friesen (nee Korach) leaves a proud legacy that she and her husband, John, created during their 62-year marriage.
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Marta was born in Czechoslovakia in 1923. Her family belonged to the Hungarian minority of Slovakia. In 1939 they immigrated to Chile. After finishing high school, Marta entered the Faculty of Education of the University of Chile and graduated cum laude in 1946. A year later she was accepted at Columbia University in New York City for graduate studies in the field of education of handicapped children.
While in New York, Marta met fellow Columbia graduate student, John K. Friesen. They married in Winnipeg in 1948 where Marta taught Spanish at the Latin American Institute and had regular assignments with the CBC's International Service.
In 1953, the family moved to Vancouver where Marta taught Spanish at UBC's Continuing Education Department and physical education at the YWCA. In 1955, Marta joined a travel agency and led groups on exotic tours to all parts of the world.
While living in Vancouver, Marta was one of the founders of the BC Planned Parenthood Association, the first President of the BC Voice of Women and served on the Boards of the United Nations Association, the University Women's Club, Faculty Women's Association and World Federalists.
From 1964 to 1980, Marta lived in India, Turkey, Iran, Singapore, Kenya and Egypt where John worked for international aid organizations. During this time, Marta continued to conduct international tours with various travel organizations.
Marta is survived by her daughter, Melanie, in Vancouver and, in Chicago, her son Robert, daughter-in-law Virginia and grandchildren, Andrea, Harley and John. She is also survived by her brother, Pablo Korach in Santiago, Chile.
By her request, there will not be a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation in Marta's name to UBC. Contributions cheques should be made out to The University of British Columbia and sent to:
UBC Continuing Studies
410-5950 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Please reference the John K. Friesen Excellence in Teaching Award in the memo line on the cheque.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Dec. 7 to Dec. 8, 2012