Jenny, Marilyn, and Jason, Debbie Froese’s three children, spoke at her celebration of life on Friday, Jan. 24. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Hundreds attend celebration of life for Debbie Froese in Langley

A businesswoman, volunteer, and wife of Mayor Jack Froese, she passed away on Jan. 9

Children, grandchildren, and siblings remembered Debbie Froese at the celebration of life held Friday for the business owner, volunteer, and wife of Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

Debbie Froese died, aged 66, on Jan. 9, after a long battle with cancer.

The ceremony was held at the Christian Life Assembly church, which held hundreds of friends, family, and acquaintances.

An honour guard of RCMP, firefighters, and Vancouver Police officers led in the large family at the start of the service.

“Our mom lived her best life,” said Marilyn, Debbie’s daughter. Flanked by her siblings Jenny and Jason, she spoke of her mother’s life, from a farm on Sumas Prairie to meeting Jack in her senior year of high school.

Marilyn joked that their mother had all but stalked Jack, before asking him to prom.

They married in 1973 and worked on his family’s poultry farm, saving up to buy their own in Langley in 1979.

In addition to raising three children, Debbie supported Jack’s change of career to becoming a Vancouver Police Department officer in the early 1980s.

Debbie was one of the driving forces behind transforming what had long been a hobby farm into a commercial operation again in 1992, when J.D. Turkey Farms was created.

“Mom being the entrepreneur that she was, she knew she could operate a deli off the farm,” Marilyn said.

As the daughter and granddaughter of politicians – Debbie’s grandfather was reeve of Sumas for many years – she didn’t bat an eye at her husband going into politics, Marilyn said.

“She took a lot of pride in her store and in her J.D. family,” said Marilyn.

She was deeply proud of her fundraising work with the Thank You For Caring event, an annual Christmas tea that raised funds for the Langley Christmas Bureau and local families.

Her family said Debbie was a woman who loved her family, loved to connect with neighbours, and loved music and travel.

“Mom, you are forever in our hearts, and I know you walk with us every day,” Marilyn said.

“She always was the embodiment of happiness and peace,” said Ethan Morgan, one of Debbie’s grandsons said of the woman they called Nana.

“We love you Deb,” said her sisters, twins Barbara Daenckaert and Beverley Harris.

Reverend Derek Hamre spoke of the 23 Psalm, Debbie’s favourite passage from the Bible, during the committal.

A traditional blanket decorated with an orca was on the stage during the ceremony – it was gifted to Debbie Froese by Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation.

funeralLangleyLangley Townshipvolunteers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Ethan Morgan, left, one of Debbie Froese’s grandsons, spoke at her celebration of life on behalf of her grandchildren. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

An honour guard of Township firefighters and Langley RCMP officers led in the family of the late Debbie Froese on Jan. 23. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Langley Chamber of Commerce asks for input on rail blockades

The local business group is asking if local businesses have been impacted

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Lions Clubs donate generous gift to local hospital to help Langley breathe easy

A $56,000 donation is the largest the hospital has received from the Lions Club

LETTER: End the blockades, pleads Langley reader

People have a right to protest, then there’s a question about the rights of all the others

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Most Read