Murphy Funeral Homes


Alvin Matthew Theisen

March 8, 1933October 8, 2021
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Al (“Alvy”) Theisen passed away peacefully at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA on the morning of October 8, 2021 surrounded by his family.

He was born March 8, 1933 in Cold Spring, MN, to Rose and Stephen Theisen. He was the third child out of 7 children (Harold, Helen, Sandy, Ermalyn, James and David). He joined the US Air Force in June of 1951. He married his high school sweetheart, Leona M. Dullinger, in December 1953. He retired from the Air Force in April of 1974, after 23 years of service, and was a Korean War Veteran. He became a computer programmer in the late 1950’s and stayed in that career field until his retirement from OPM as a manager of a computer specialists branch.

He is survived by the love of his life and his wife of 67 years, Leona, and four living children, Marilynn Knowles (Richard L. Knowles, Jr.), Michael Theisen, Mark Theisen (Patty Theisen), and Deborah Peavey (Raymond Peavey). He is also survived by six grandchildren and their spouses (Renee Theisen [Jason Martin], Sharon Codispoti [Vinny Codispoti], Melissa Palmer (Nick Palmer], Mark Theisen, Jr., Christopher Theisen, and Katie Kihl [Steven Kihl]), two step grandchildren and their spouses (Sean Knowles [Melissa Knowles], and Shane Knowles [Jacki Knowles]), eleven great grandchildren and four step great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. He is predeceased by his oldest son, Douglas (2016), his oldest brother Harold, and his sister Ermalyn.

He was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church since 1968 when he and Leona moved to Arlington, VA.

He was very involved in volunteer activities: VP for Membership of NARFE Chapter 7, Meals-on-Wheels as a route driver and dispatcher, Personal Advocate for the Arlington County Area Agency on Aging, Arlington THRIVE, and belonged to the Arimatheans, who participate in burial services at Arlington National Cemetery. He was named as Arlington County’s Volunteer of the Year in 2000. He was very generous to many charitable organizations.

Al’s hobbies included feeding and watching the birds and squirrels, travel, fishing with his sons, boating, reading, learning new computer languages, and fresh water fishing in Minnesota when he was growing up. Although he enjoyed Minnesota, he did not miss the 7 month sub-zero winter season, or the summer swarms of mosquitos.

He will be greatly missed by all.

In lieu flowers, donations in tribute may be made to SOAR (, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital ( or Mercy Ships (

Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a later date.


  • Visitation

    Friday, October 15, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, October 16, 2021


Alvin Matthew Theisen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carol Herbert

October 16, 2021

My sincerest condolences to the all of the Theisen family and friends. Truly a loss for our neighborhood. Good neighbors are hard to come by anymore, and Mr. Theisen was certainly a great neighbor and part of one of the best generations there was.
My best to you, Mrs. Theisen and your family.
Peace be with you.

Heather Elliott Waggy

October 15, 2021

Prayers and condolences for your family,he was such a wonderful and good person. Sorry for your loss.

Sharon Codispoti

October 13, 2021

“Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” No, but I was fortunate enough to know someone who did, and that phrase will always remind me of him. I am thankful for the life lessons I learned through observation of one of the greatest men I have ever known. He provided an excellent example of work ethic, family commitment, and serving our country and community. I remember Christmas shopping trips, fun in the hot tub, boating on the Potomac, and watching the birds and squirrels feasting on all of the feeders in the yard. My children remember helping with feeding Bonkers and the warm welcome we always felt in your home. Grandpa will be greatly missed.

Sandy Ley

October 13, 2021

It hurts my heart not to be able to be with you at this time. Know that we are with you. In spirit. Al was a big part of my growing up in MN. I remember him hunting and catching mink with our Dad—and skunks too. He was a hard worker as we had to be in the harsh winters of MN. He had a great sense of humor and all around great guy. We are so happy to have had him in our lives.

Betty Murray

October 13, 2021

My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time. I was once a neighbor of Mr Theisen , very nice man always a pleasure to talk too. Even when I moved away when I was in the area I stop by would see how they where doing..

Mark Theisen

October 12, 2021

Rock fishing in the spring at the point in Maryland makes for some cold mornings and makes it hard to hold on to a fishing pole when chunking bait. Yup big fish hit and pole was gone in a second. Dad offered to pay for the pole, Captain said no worries the boat and tackle have insurance.