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Obituary for Francis Joseph Thielen

October 19, 2016

     Francis Joseph Thielen born to Paul and Celia (Gibson) at Protection, Ks on May 2nd, 1929 and departed this life on October 6th, 2016 at his home in Cheyenne Wells Co.

Francis lived with his parents and older siblings Emma, Mark, Mary, Theodore and Marjorie on the farm in Clark County Ks. Three years after Francis's birth his younger brother Leo completed the family.
Francis started school in a small country school in Clark Co, KS. Years later the Thielen family moved to Ashland Ks where Francis began his freshman year in high school. Francis graduated in 1946, and soon moved to Cheyenne Wells to work with his brother Ted at his Chevrolet Car Dealership and family farm.

     In 1955 Francis moved to Wichita to work with his brother Leo. During this time Francis enjoyed traveling the U.S. visiting family members. In 1960 Francis returned to Cheyenne Wells and went to work at St. Joseph Hospital. The community and the Sisters of St. Jospeh were in the process of building a new hospital which opened in 1962. At this time Francis became the chief of maintenance which he loved until the day he retired.  He also became the chauffer for all the Sisters, and enjoyed traveling with them to several states. He was very meticulous and conservative. Every tool had a place and if you used one you had better replace it. The hospital staff used to laugh because he even saved the burnt out fluorescent light bulbs. What he did with them nobody knows! Francis continued to be faithful to the hospital and very rarely missed a meal in the lunchroom. Francis loved the hospital only second to his love for the Catholic Church.

      When Francis was nearing retirement from the hospital, a dear friend,  Susanne Debus was worried about him living alone. She made a suggestion " You need a reason to get out of bed, so why don't you go to Mass every day?" Francis thought for a minute and said, "I guess I could do that." In 2008 Susanne retired from the hospital, at this time Francis came to her and said, "Susanne you need a reason to get up in the morning. Why don't you go to Mass every morning?" How could she say "No" so every day from then on Francis and Susanne went to Mass together. Francis would always ask Susanne, "Do you want to ring or read" When Susanne looks across the empty aisle she is saddened, but still "needs a reason to get out of bed." During the daily Masses and all Sunday and holiday Masses, Francis served as the church Sexton. Sacred Heart Church will greatly miss Francis and all the services he performed for the church. We were told that it has taken four people to replace and perform Francis's duties.

     Francis is survived by one sister Mary Tucker of Maryland, 12 nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews. Francis was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Celia, sisters, Emma, Marjorie, brothers Mark, Ted, and Leo and a host of friends.

      A funeral Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on October 12, 2016 at the Sacred Heart Church in Cheyenne Wells with Father Jason Keas as the Celebrant.  Music for the Mass was provided by the Sacred Heart Choir and Cindy Legg.  Serving as casketbearers were:  Bob Weber, Monte Baker, Craig Roth, Ron Smith, Rick Ball and George Kemp.  Honorary casketbearers were:  Ronald Heinz, Ron Homan, Bill Roth, Nelson Corbin and Bill Zircher.  Final committal services were held at the Fairview Cemetery in Cheyenne Wells.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Sacred Heart Church or the Keefe Memorial Hospital.  Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at  Visitation and funeral services were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home in Cheyenne Wells.

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