Reflections at Eventide: A Grandfather Shares His Story with His Grandchildren


Eugene Friesen received his PhD from Michigan State University and his doctorate of ministry from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. He served as an army chaplain for thirty-five years — five years on active duty and thirty years with the military reserves. His active duty included two years with the 82nd Airborne Association, as well as an assignment in Europe. His reserve duty included nineteen years on the faculty of the US Army Chaplain School and Center. His tenure as a psychologist included serving as the director of a psychiatric ward at the Veterans Psychiatric Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, and as the director of a mental health center in Lansing. After leaving Michigan, he spent twenty years in private practice in Tucson, Arizona. After retiring from his psychology practice, he served as a United Methodist pastor and was an active Rotarian extensively involved with water projects in Thailand. He has also traveled widely as a psychology lecturer on cruise ships, and he has been with the Sons of Orpheus Male Choir for the past twenty years.
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Many people intend to leave footprints in the sands of time to enable those who follow to have some idea from whence they came. But then time passes, and oftentimes this kind of extended journal remains unwritten. Eugene Friesen wrote Reflections at Eventide because he wanted his children and his children’s children to follow the unexpected twists and turns his life has taken, starting with a very provincial and conservative rural background. He shares some of the turning points, often lonely and frightening, that result in what seems like cataclysmic changes in his world view. Leta, his wife of sixty-two years, was his major anchor. She had a powerful impact on his life and he chose a most unpredictable path leading to a journey he could never have anticipated.


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