Tony Thelen, age 98, passed away at Cherry Meadows on Thursday morning, February 17, 2011. Tony was born in Menasha on August 24, 1912, son of the late Frank and Anna (Winkel) Thelen. He attended grade school and high school at St. Mary's in Menasha, and went on to be a life-long employee of the Banta Corporation, where he worked his way up to Midway Plant Manager. He met Leah Trilling, the love of his life at Bantas while she was the switchboard operator. On May 2, 1939 they were married in Menasha. She preceded him in death in 2004 after sixty-five wonderful years of marriage. During those years, Tony was an active member of the B.P.O.E., Knights of Columbus, Rotary International, and was a volunteer for the American Red Cross. He loved to care for his home and garden and also enjoyed spending time with Leah on the golf course. They loved to travel, especially to Florida for 6 weeks in the winter.
Tony is survived by four loving children: Mary (Tom) Plath of Grand Chute; Janet (Gil) Wagner of Balsam Grove, North Carolina; Dan (Judy) Thelen of West Salem; and Tom Thelen of Madison; eight grandchildren: Sharon (Jim) Friebel and their children Sara and Nick; Teri (Steve) Winter and their son Matt; Steve (Jen) Plath; Christine (Del) LaMarche and their children Ben and Beth; Debby (Paul) Worthen; Peter Wagner; Jeff Thelen; and Raina Thelen and her fiancé Jon Krocker. There are also many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends. Tony was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Leah in 2004, and several brothers and sisters: Gertrude (Jim) Hale, Leone (Walter) Peterman, Cyril Thelen, Marie (Ed) Becker, Paul (Jackie) Thelen, and Bob (Betty) Thelen.
Tony will be remembered by all as a devoted gentleman who always put his family's needs first: he cared for his ailing father for many years, he loved his brothers and sisters, and was totally devoted to his wife and children. His family meant the world to him, and though he lived to a good age, he will be sadly missed.
The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at The Heritage, Heritage Woods Assisted Living, Peabody Manor and Cherry Meadow for the loving care they gave Tony for the last 13 years.
A Memorial Mass and celebration of Tony's life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 9, 2011, at ST. PATRICK CATHOLIC CHURCH, 324 Nicolet Blvd. in Menasha. Friends may call at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of the mass.
Wichmann Funeral Home
3212 S. Oneida Street
Appleton, WI 54915