Gardening 03

Dianne (Knight) Friesen

November 8, 1947 ~ August 16, 2020 (age 72)


     (Muriel) Dianne Friesen (Knight) passed from this life on August 16, 2020, at the age of seventy three years.  Dianne was born in Kindersley Saskatchewan, on August 11, 1947, and was one of three children born to Vera and Arthur Knight of Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

     Dianne was a classroom teacher for nearly twenty-five years.  She began her teaching career(two years) in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The remaining years were spent teaching at the elementary level in Regina Public School Division, until health issues forced her from the classroom.  Until then, she had never travelled north of the City of Saskatoon. When Dianne moved from Regina to the “Homestead” near Choiceland, Saskatchewan, she told family and friends that she had moved to the wilderness. Don renovated a large wooden grain bin into a  ”School-house” to store her teaching aids. These filled every square foot of the building. Each event of the calendar was celebrated by classroom teaching aids that decorated the house. Christmas was her favourite.  Always a home-cut tree, favourite decorations and lights.  Never garlands or tinsel. Frosty and Rudolf, icicles and candy canes.  When Dianne moved into her final home in Pineview Lodge, in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, the wonderfully caring staff made it possible for her to have her “classroom”, where she could do her school-work and wonderful friend Terra and staff would sometimes be her students. She was always a teacher.

    Dianne met Don in 1990.  They were married October 12, 1994.  Together they spent twenty-nine wonderful years on their Homestead.                                                                               

    Dianne loved the solitude that the homestead offered. The Homestead was a quarter section of forest and creek, at the end of a dead-end road, so surprise visitors were few. She was a private person in some ways. She enjoyed her time alone, with the dogs.  First, there was Moose, her protector, who always kept her in sight.  Then, Lady, who was terribly spoiled, but was a wonderful companion.  Finally, Purdy, who had had a hard puppyhood.  She quickly became attached to Dianne’s quiet, loving attention.  Purdy has an incredible way of connecting with seniors. When she visited Dianne in her Pineview Lodge home, Dianne would say to her friends “She is my  dog.”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
   When Dianne wanted time to herself, she would drop hints to Don, like… “When are you going fishing and how many days will you be gone?”

    Dianne loved her flowers.  She built flower beds with rocks that she collected from around the homestead or from many camping trips north.  Many, she moved in her wheelbarrow and all were placed by hand. Others flower beds were made with slices of logs.  Topsoil, hauled in by the truck load, was moved with the tractor if Don wasn't at school, building on the house, working in the upholstery shop, or fishing. Many yards of soil, she hand-loaded and moved with her wheelbarrow. Oak half- barrels grew cucumbers and tomatoes. Don's wheelbarrow, the heavy one, didn't see its share of service. Each summer the delphiniums, daisies, maltese cross, petunias, johnny-jump-ups, and lilies in the flower beds, and hanging pots bore witness to her green thumb and energy. Each fall, she would collect the seeds of the perennials, put the seeds in pill bottles, margarine dishes or peanut butter jars.  Inside, the house was full of house plants.......sixty-two at one count. All were attended diligently. All had to be watered before any trip began. Sometimes friends were asked to water the plants while she and Don were away.

    Dianne’s bird-feeders attracted many different species of birds. Visitors would sit by the window to watch the chickadees, grosbeaks, whiskey jacks, blue jays, nuthatches, juncos and sparrows. Minus 30 or plus 30, the birds were always fed.  Chipmunks, squirrels and deer didn’t know they weren’t welcome.

   Dianne was an avid shutterbug, leaving thousands of negatives, neatly filed in shoe boxes.  After the SLR camera wore out, she moved up to a digital camera and filled several SD cards with photos and videos of family, friends, flowers, birds and animals that were an everyday part of life on the homestead.                            

   Living within meters of the creek, Di and Don were blessed by endless “encounters” with squirrels, chipmunks, flying squirrels, rabbits, beaver, mink, otter, one large painted turtle, and weasels (in the house.   They’re great mousers…very curious, very clean, and only stay until the last mouse “has been taken care of”). Bucks, and does and day-old bambis, moose, elk, bears, skunks, wolves, coyotes, and##!!**## racoons.

    Gertie and Gunner, the seasonal Canada Goose visitors, raised two families on Gertie’s Island, about one hundred meters and in full view, from the big picture window beside the kitchen table.   Ducks, Bald Eagle, Blue Heron, Kingfishers, and even one large “flotilla” of feeding pelicans.

   Some of the many, many pictures became part of the photo albums that Dianne created.  For many years she was very involved with Creative Memories, and enjoyed the sharing and socializing that took place at the monthly gatherings.  In her quiet way, she became a part of a sisterhood with many members of the group.

   Dianne loved to crochet.  Watching TV or while travelling, she made Christmas stockings, Christmas booties, doilies, arm covers, afghans and lap blankets for gifts.  Some she sold at cost.
   Dianne served six years on the Board of the Choiceland branch of the Wapiti Regional Library. She enjoyed reading, especially romance novels, Danielle Steele was her favourite author, and surprise, surprise,… books about gardening, scrap-booking and crocheting.

   For eight years, Dianne and Don owned and operated Nature’s Northern Bounty, a company that gathered, processed and packaged native aquatics, moss, ferns, flowers, shrubs and trees, which they wholesaled to garden centres, greenhouses and tree nurseries.

   In her spare time, she kept a clean house, made great meals, baked super cocoanut oatmeal cookies, and pampered the love of her life.                                                                                                                                                          
   Dianne was predeceased by her parents, Vera and Arthur Knight, brother David Knight (Kindersley), Auntie Beryl Porterfield(Burnaby), Auntie Laura Clarkson(Kindersley), Auntie Joan and Uncle Percy Poulter(Madison), Auntie Ann and Uncle Harry Knight(Bangor)

   Dianne leaves to mourn her passing, her husband and best friend, Don, brother Ross(Theresa) Knight, nephews Michael Knight and James Knight, special niece Lori Tyce (Knight), special nephew Jason Knight, step-son Chris (Tara) Friesen and their daughters Kiri, Erica and Fallon, stepson Corey(Lisa) Friesen, Uncle Art(Gladys) Clarkson, cousins Debbie(Dan) Morton, Brenda(Eric) Ingham, Sherry(Marty) Down, Dale(Sherry) Clarkson, and their children, cousin Patsy(George) Ohlander, and  cousin Rick Poulter.  Also, special and life-long friend Gin(Dale) Oswald, and many friends and neighbours.


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