Friesen, Florence Cooprider (1887-1985)

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Florence Cooprider Friesen.
Scan courtesy Mennonite Church USA Archives-Goshen HM 4.43 Box 3/35

Florence Cooprider Friesen: medical doctor and missionary; was born 6 January 1887 in McPherson County Kansas to John Albert and Henrietta (Brunk) Cooprider. In 1906, as a student at Goshen College Academy, she heard Mary Burkhard, whose husband Jacob had died in India, emphasize the need for medical work among the women of India and felt an inner call to serve there. Florence graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1914. She served as a medical doctor in India under the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church) from 1916 to 1941. In 1922, on her first furlough from India, Florence married P. A. Friesen, whose first wife, Lena, had died in India, leaving him with four children: Peter H., William C., John A., and Edward H. The Friesens returned to Sankra, India, where Florence set up the first of many roadside clinics. Florence had two children, Grace (Slatter) and Paul A. From 1945 until 1953 she practiced medicine in Greensburg, Kansas where she delivered 66 babies. She continued her practice in Hesston, Kansas until 1959. A Hindu woman once said of Dr. Friesen, "Ah, your God must be a very good god, to send a doctor to women. None of our gods ever sends us a doctor."  

Florence Cooprider Friesen died 12 September 1985.


Cummings, Mary Lou. Full Circle: Stories of Mennonite Women. Newton, KS: Faith & Life, 1978: 82-86.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Mennonite Women: A Story of God's Faithfulness, 1683-1983. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1983: 175-177.

Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 73-74.

Gospel Herald. Scottdale, PA (8 October 1985): 708.

Kaufman, Elsie D. Monthly Letter of Mennonite Women's Missionary Society (1 December 1925).

Women's Missionary and Service Commission Voice. (April 1986): 7-8, 18.

Lapp, John Allen. The Mennonite Church in India, 1897-1962, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, vol. 14. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972: 109, 113, 114.

Author(s) Elaine Sommoers Rich
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Rich, Elaine Sommoers. "Friesen, Florence Cooprider (1887-1985)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 30 May 2023.,_Florence_Cooprider_(1887-1985)&oldid=171337.

APA style

Rich, Elaine Sommoers. (1987). Friesen, Florence Cooprider (1887-1985). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 May 2023, from,_Florence_Cooprider_(1887-1985)&oldid=171337.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 312. All rights reserved.

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