Rita Mary Thiel

September 30, 1928October 24, 2019

COLUMBIA – Rita Mary Madden Thiel, age 91, died peacefully surrounded by her loving family Thursday, October 24, 2019. Rita was a two time cancer survivor. She was born in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 30, 1928 to Clarence J. Madden and Helen Clark Madden, one of four children. Rita was predeceased by her husband of 66 years, Paul Joseph Thiel, in 2018.

Rita attended St. Francis School of Nursing in Peoria, Illinois where she earned a Degree in Nursing. She began her nursing career at St. Frances Hospital, in Peoria, IL, as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. She was the Assistant Director of Nursing at Richland Convalescent Center, worked at Lexington County Home Health, Rickard Nursing Home, and Manor Care. She retired from the State of SC where she worked as an RN and Assistant Director of Nursing for many years at Tucker Center and Crafts Farrow and other state agencies. She retired to become the full time caregiver to her daughter Julie, who died of breast cancer at age 40.

She was always active in her church wherever she lived. She was a Girl Scout Troop leader and an avid seamstress, who made many of her eight children’s clothes. She knitted sweaters, mittens and scarves for the winter months. She was a master cook in the kitchen and one of her all-time best items was her famous carrot cake.

Rita was an active member of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church as a Charter Member and served her parish in every way possible, including being a Charter Member of the Legion of Mary, and serving as a Minister of the Eucharist. She visited sick parishioners for many years until her health declined.

Rita is survived by six children; Paula Jean Cox (Myron) of Greenville, SC, Christine Marie Aun (Michael) of St. Cloud, FL, Bruce Raymond Thiel of Charleston, SC, Janet Jane Thiel (James Perry) of Chapin, SC, Kevin Paul Thiel (Ginni Cox) of Charleston, SC and Susan Mary Sudol of Clover, SC. She is also survived by a brother, John Madden of Des Moines IA, 11 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. She is predeceased by her daughter, Julie Ann Thiel; son, Kurt John Thiel; sister, Kathleen Myers; brother, Donald Madden; and one grandchild, Mark Anthony Sudol. Her dog Soffi misses her and will soon join her in heaven, much to our Dad’s chagrin.

We are blessed to have called her Mom and Grandma and will always remember her in our hearts. She will be missed by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, especially her favorite…….depending on the day/time of the week.

We would like to thank her caregivers for their loving care the past few years, Bethany Bennett, Monica Adams, Eva Rose and Lexi Gedra.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Monday, October 28, 2019 at Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church Family Life Center, 120 Marydale Lane, Columbia, SC 29210.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Father George Rosario, CSsR, at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 at Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church, 120 Marydale Lane, Columbia, SC 29210. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in memory of her husband, Paul Joseph Thiel.


  • Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church


  • Receive Friends Monday, October 28, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Rita Mary Thiel

have a memory or condolence to add?

Eva Rose

October 28, 2019

I only cared for Rita for about 3 months, but I can remember her smile when anyone walked into the room. She was always very friendly and welcoming. She was so thankful for anything anyone did for her. When we would go to leave, she would always thank each of us for all we did each time. She never seemed to complain, and always thought of others. She was a very sweet lady. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to care for her, and got to know the special Lady she was! My prayers and thoughts are with the family of Rita Thiel.🙏

James Clark

October 28, 2019

RITA; When Father Len and I visited your hospital in Peoria - He to visit with Sister Jude and I tagged along to see you in Nursing School at the hospital, little did I realize how you along with your classmates changed our lives! You short-sheeted our beds and in general made that visit a memorable part of Len's and my life and we loved you, the patients you introduced us to, and your wonderful classmates! My love for you, especially since then, has grown for you and your lovely family, many of whom we met here in Florida. My prayers and those of Gemma are for you and your family. They should be so very proud of you. God Bless You and Yours Forever. Gemma and Jim Clark

Gregg Messel

October 27, 2019

Mrs. Thiel treated all who met her with love and kindness. She shared her table with those of us who were friends of the family. it is hard to believe it has been almost 5o years. She tocuched many lives. She will be missed.

May the Blessing Be


Terri M Davis

October 27, 2019

I am so very saddened to hear of Ms. Thiel’s passing. My heartfelt sympathies to the Thiel family. I was so very fond of her. Wrapping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Emma Drury

October 27, 2019

So sorry for your loss, just know she is happy this morning. You have her memory, know she will be with you daily through them. Love ❤️ and prayers for the family. Emma Drury

Karen Goolsby

October 27, 2019

Aunt Rita, was a very beautiful and kind woman. She will be greatly missed. I know my mom Joan Thiel Eddy will miss there phone conversation dearly. We have plenty of Angles looking over all of us! Keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers. Love Always Karen Goolsby

Paula Cox

October 27, 2019

Love you forever Mom. Paula

Theresa Parker

October 26, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss. We are thinking about you all and praying for the whole family.

Wayne and Theresa Parker