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Friends Funeral Service
2146 Main St,
Winnipeg, MB R2V 3S5
Phone: (204) 339-5555
Fax: (204) 339-5225
Friends Funeral Service
2146 Main St
Winnipeg, MB CA
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On September 1, 2005, Friends Funeral Service opened its doors in Winnipeg. Friends Funeral Service originated with three principle owners: Walter Klassen, Harry Froese, and Harold Koslowsky. Klassen was a longtime funeral director and former owner of Klassen Funeral Home, an endeavor he began in 1970, where both Froese and Koslowsky worked. Not only are the three friends, they are also family. Froese and Koslowsky are married to Klassen's nieces.
"So we blame him (Klassen) for what we've got into," laughs Froese. "We worked together for almost 10 years and even then, a lot of people did not know that we were all related."
Since opening in September 2005, these three have been joined by four long-time staff members of Klassen Funeral Chapel - hostess Barbara Mueller, casual driver John Olfert, office administrator Betty Plett and most recently, funeral director Kristin Buchalter.
Friends Funeral Service began in response to requests asking Walter Klassen to provide funeral services after he had retired from Klassen Funeral Chapel. He made arrangements with another funeral home that if family or close friends called, he would be able to use their facility to do the funeral. " Lo and behold, a family called."
The family was very pleased with the arrangement and word quickly spread that Klassen was still available to assist families in need. Harry Froese joined Klassen in assisting families, and a new partnership was realized.
"The interesting thing is that we did about 50 funerals without a name, without a building, without an address or phone number," said Klassen. Since they were not officially open for business, and were operating out of other funeral homes, they ran into a dilemma of how to advertise the funeral in the newspaper obituaries. They decided to keep it simple: 'Friends of the Family' in care of arrangements. Klassen said this really gained attention and they decided to use the name Friends Funeral Service once they became incorporated.
In May 2010, Walter Klassen retired from Friends Funeral Service, leaving the business fully in the hands of Harry Froese and Harold Koslowsky. Understanding that there was more to do than the two of them could handle, the search began to find another funeral director who could fit into the style and culture established at Friends. Adina Vogt and Kristin Buchalter, both licensed funeral directors, joined the team. In December 2018, Harold Koslowsky retired. Keeping it in the family, Harold's son Jotham Koslowsky is a second year funeral director apprentice as well as Harry's daughter Danielle Froese.
Friends Funeral Service is independently owned and managed and provides a full range of services, including traditional earth burials, cremation, memorial and inurnment services, graveside services and prearrangements. They also serve all churches and cemeteries.