George Anthony Thelen, Jr.

RANDOLPH — George Anthony Thelen Jr., 89, Randolph, died Dec. 12, 2018, at Osmond General Hospital.

Visitation and a Christian Wake Service were Dec. 16 at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church, Randolph.

Mass of Christian Burial was Dec. 17 at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church, with Fr. Tim Forget officiating, assisted by Deacon Doug Tunink.

Burial was in Saint Jane Frances Catholic Cemetery, Randolph, with Military Rites by Alvin Kessler V.F.W. Post #5545 and American Legion Post #113, Randolph.

Pallbearers were his grandsons, Tony Thelen, Ted Thelen, Jack Thelen, Shawn Thelen, Mark Busack, David Thelen and Jacob Thelen.

Honorary pallbearers were his granddaughters, greatgrandchildren; great-great-grandchildren; and card and coffee buddies.

Arrangements were under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home, Randolph.

George was born Aug. 26, 1929, to George Anthony, Sr. and Anna (Hoffman) Thelen in Randolph. He married Norma Jean Brodersen Dec. 27, 1950, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Leeds, Iowa. They spent nearly all of their 68 years of marriage living in the Randolph area. Growing up, George attended Country School Eagle Valley District 55 in Cedar County and Pierce County Country School. In 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He received Heavy 20th Military Infantry training at Fort Ord, Calif. From May 1952-March 1953, George served in the Korean War, stationed in South Korea in the Mortar Company. He received awards for marksmanship (pistol and rifle). At the time George was honorably discharged, he was a corporal and one week away from becoming a sergeant. He was awarded the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart in 1953 for his injuries. In 1955, George and Norma Jean purchased a farm north of Randolph on the Correction Line. They farmed until 2003 when George semi-retired.

George was a member of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church, VFW Alvin Kessler Post 5545 of Randolph and the American Legion Post 113. He loved Oliver tractors, hunting, playing cards, enjoying coffee with his buddies, working on the farm and spending time with family.

George is survived by his wife, Norma Jean, and eight children, Michael Thelen, Lincoln; Chuck and Pat Thelen, Greg and Dot Thelen, John and Kelly Thelen, and Andy and Tina Thelen, all of Randolph; Maureen and David Lewis, Eyota, Minn.; Joe and Ann Thelen, Johnston, Iowa; Dan and Sharie Thelen, Norfolk; and daughter-in-law, Jane Thelen, Fordyce; his brother, Norb (Ruth) Thelen, and sisters, Loraine Backer and Mary Ann Tunink, all of Randolph; sisters-in-law, Joann (Roger) McBain, Arvada, Colo.; Patty Brodersen, Randolph; and Imogene Thelen, Norfolk; 22 grandchildren, 14 greatgrandchildren, two great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by three sons, Patrick (1963), David (1983) and Doug (2015) Thelen; his parents; sisters, Helen Schmidt, Irene Rohde and Kathleen Lenton; brothers, Urban “Bud,” Melvin “Fat” and Paul Thelen; and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.

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