The name Lorraine has significant meaning to the Friessen family, which is how it ended up as the name of the Warren Friessen’s vision for five parcels of land he acquired over 20 years. Today its known as Lake Lorraine, a lifestyle center located off Interstate 29 in western Sioux Falls.
Friessen dug out the lake, which is an aquifer from Skunk Creek, using the sand and materials as part of projects with his company, Friessen Construction. He had a vision to create a lake. The employees who worked on digging it out referred to it as the “Terry Pit.”
Friessen’s vision for the land took on a number of options, from a private housing community to eventually partnering with VanBuskirk Companies in 2014 to build the development. Today the Lake Lorraine area features major employers, a retirement community, townhomes, retail, restaurants and professional services.
“The lake was really my Dad’s dream and my Dad’s work. ‘Lake Friessen’ and ‘Lake Warren’ didn’t sound very appealing,” daughter Patty Vognild said. “We spent years trying to think of a name when it came to me — it should be Lake Lorraine after Mom. Plus, it just sounded nice.”
Lorraine is the middle name of Patty’s mother and Warren’s wife, Hilda, who passed away in May 2017. Lorraine is also the middle name of a granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Warren and Hilda were married for 62 years. They both grew up west of Sioux Falls and raised their two daughters, Cindy Monnin and Patty Vognild, on the west side, too. Hilda and Warren worked together in their family business, Friessen Construction, and today their daughter Cindy serves as the President of the 50-year-old company. After Warren retired, the Friessens traveled, often looking at other similar lifestyle developments to find inspiration as to what Lake Lorraine could be.
Now that Hilda is gone, Mother’s Day is an opportunity for the Friessens to remember their family’s matriarch and legacy development’s namesake.
“That we named the lake after her, that makes it even more special,” Patty said. “We’re eager to share our family’s story and want people to understand that there’s a special meaning, that a lot of thought went into naming the lake,” Vognild said.
This Mother’s Day, Friessen Development, Inc., is doing a giveaway to honor Hilda Friessen and all mothers. Other Lake Lorraine businesses are also participating. The contest will open Friday, May 3 in the afternoon — follow the Lake Lorraine Facebook page to enter and for more details. The contest closes on Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m.