OBITUARY

Dave William Thelen

February 4, 1951July 23, 2018
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Dave Thelen, 67, of Eagle, was a dedicated hardworking husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, neighbor and friend. He showed his love for his family by making sure that they were always taken care of even if that meant driving to another city to fix a car outside in a blizzard. He took pride in his home and enjoyed spending time caring for his garden and fruit trees, maintaining a well-manicured lawn, camping and bike riding. Dave loved to travel, especially going on cruises and was proud to have sailed on the first ship in the Carnival Cruise line. Dave possessed an analytical mind and enjoyed besting GM engineers. He was able to design a fix to any problem. After retiring from General Motors, Dave enjoyed tinkering on home repair projects with and for his children, including building a nativity manger because the ones at the store “cost too much”. He could strike up a conversation with anyone about growing up on the farm, working at GM for 38 years, his experiences in the Army during the Vietnam war, current events, current project, latest travels, his family and whatever else was on his mind at the time. His day was not complete until he read the Lansing State Journal, word for word. Dave often mentioned that had he gone to college he would have pursued a career as a Detective. His daughters know he would have excelled at this since he was always aware of their shenanigans. He was loved and will be greatly missed. A devout Catholic, his family was a founding family of The Catholic Community of St. Jude, DeWitt, MI. Preceding Dave in death are his parents, Melvin and Mary Thelen; his brothers, Larry and Roger; his father in-law, Walter Call and brothers-in-law, Jay DeSmith, Gene Stewart and Jim Call. Surviving to cherish his memory are his wife of 41 years, Janice (Call) Thelen; his children, Andrea (Steve) Zielinski, Audrie (Don) Kirk; 3 grandsons, Joseph and Andrew Zielinski and Mason Kirk; siblings, MaryEllen (Dave) Schertzing, Danny, Duane Thelen, Judy DeSmith, Elaine Stewart; in-laws, Jodi Call, Jeanie and Scott Honke, Pam Call; and many nieces and nephews. His funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the Catholic Community of St. Jude, 801 N. Bridge St. in DeWitt, with Rev. Robert Irish presiding. The family will receive friends from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Monday, August 6, 2018 at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 205 E. Washington in DeWitt, and one hour prior to mass at the church on Tuesday. Memorial contributions in Dave’s memory may be made to the Catholic Community of St Jude Building Fund or the Lansing Low Vision Support Group, C/O Roberta McCall, 2628 Rockwood Drive, East Lansing, MI.

  • DONATIONS

  • Catholic Community of St. Jude Building Fund
  • Lansing Low Vision Support Group

Services

  • Visitation Monday, August 6, 2018
  • Visitation Monday, August 6, 2018
  • Rosary Monday, August 6, 2018
  • Visitation Tuesday, August 7, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, August 7, 2018
REMEMBERING

Dave William Thelen

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Andrea Zielinski

July 31, 2018

My Dad.....
He drove to Grand Rapids in a blizzard and changed something on my car in the parking lot while I was at work. He always slipped a $20 in my car or hand or pocket when heading back to college after a weekend home to make sure that I had a little bit of cash on me just in case. He taught me all of the tools in the toolbox and the proper way to hold a trouble light to avoid casting shadows on whatever car part he was fixing. He taught me how to change the wheel of the lawn mower when it fell off when I was mowing the trails waaaayyyy out back. And the importance of always filling the lawn mower gas tank before mowing so you don't get stranded waaayyyyy out back. The wealth of knowledge he had from building houses with Grandpa (his Dad) was beyond helpful when he helped us redo our starter home. Although he insisted upon "beefing up" every cabinet because no manufacturer ever built them tough enough. And he always had the right tools for every job...like the necessary stuff to rip out the hideous bush 5 minutes after we got the keys to our new house just so we could open the window.

I will always treasure the knowledge that he gave me.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Joey's First Communion

FROM THE FAMILY

Joey reading to Grandpa and Andy

FROM THE FAMILY

Soo Locks engineers day

FROM THE FAMILY

Joey's last day of kindergarten - July 2016

FROM THE FAMILY

The old trucks first car show

FROM THE FAMILY

2016

FROM THE FAMILY

Dad doing his handy-man thing at our new house - 2013

Biography

Dave Thelen, 67, of Eagle, was a dedicated hardworking husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, neighbor and friend. He showed his love for his family by making sure that they were always taken care of even if that meant driving to another city to fix a car outside in a blizzard. He took pride in his home and enjoyed spending time caring for his garden and fruit trees, maintaining a well-manicured lawn, camping and bike riding. Dave loved to travel, especially going on cruises and was proud to have sailed on the first ship in the Carnival Cruise line. Dave possessed an analytical mind and enjoyed besting GM engineers. He was able to design a fix to any problem. After retiring from General Motors, Dave enjoyed tinkering on home repair projects with and for his children, including building a nativity manger because the ones at the store “cost too much”. He could strike up a conversation with anyone about growing up on the farm, working at GM for 38 years, his experiences in the Army during the Vietnam war, current events, current project, latest travels, his family and whatever else was on his mind at the time. His day was not complete until he read the Lansing State Journal, word for word. Dave often mentioned that had he gone to college he would have pursued a career as a Detective. His daughters know he would have excelled at this since he was always aware of their shenanigans. He was loved and will be greatly missed.
A devout Catholic, his family was a founding family of The Catholic Community of St. Jude, DeWitt, MI.
Preceding Dave in death are his parents, Melvin and Mary Thelen; his brothers, Larry and Roger; his father in-law, Walter Call and brothers-in-law, Jay DeSmith, Gene Stewart and Jim Call.
Surviving to cherish his memory are his wife of 41 years, Janice (Call) Thelen; his children, Andrea (Steve) Zielinski, Audrie (Don) Kirk; 3 grandsons, Joseph and Andrew Zielinski and Mason Kirk; siblings, MaryEllen (Dave) Schertzing, Danny, Duane Thelen, Judy DeSmith, Elaine Stewart; in-laws, Jodi Call, Jeanie and Scott Honke, Pam Call; and many nieces and nephews.