Hillsboro – Jim Thiessen, 80, died December 21, 2018 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro. He was born March 28, 1938 in Hutchinson to Jake and Mary (Warkentin) Thiessen. He married Joyce Frantz November 17, 1958 at Gnadenau Church in Hillsboro. Survivors include: wife, Joyce Thiessen of Hillsboro; daughters, Marilyn (Russ) Friesen of Olathe, Michelle (Joe) Kleinsasser of Hillsboro; brother, Linden (Dorie) Thiessen of Rural Hillsboro; sister, Enid Cady of Haysville; 6 grandchildren. Preceded in death by a sister Rosemary Thiessen in 2000. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Friday, December 28, 2018 at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro. Interment at Gnadenau cemetery rural Hillsboro. Family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to M.B. Mission or Parkinson’s Foundation in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch Taken From the Funeral Bulletin
James (Jim) Thiessen was born on March 28, 1938, in Hutchinson, Kansas, to Jake and Mary (Warkentin) Thiessen. He was the oldest of four children. The family lived in the Haven area, before moving to a small farm south of Canada, Kansas. The family moved to California for a brief stay, before moving on to a farm southeast of Hillsboro.
Jim accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at an early age. He was baptized and became a member of Gnadenau Church (Parkview M.B. Church).
He attended country grade schools, before attending and graduating from Hillsboro High School in 1956. He then attended Tabor College for one year, where he got to know Joyce Frantz. During these years he farmed with his father and worked for a local carpenter.
Jim married Joyce Frantz on Nov. 17, 1958, in Gnadenau Church. A farming career was not originally in their plans. For the first two years of marriage, Jim did 1W service in Topeka, Kansas. The couple attended a new Mennonite Brethren church there. It was an important part of their lives as they made many new friends.
During his service he did maintenace for the State Board of Health. In his spare time in the evenings, he also built furniture. After 1W service, Jim realized he didn’t enjoy city life and would prefer being his own boss. As a result, the Thiessens bought a small farm south of Hillsboro in 1961, before moving to the family farm southeast of Hillsboro in 1966.
Jim and Joyce joined the young married couples Sunday School class at Parkview, which later became the Homebuilder’s class, making many lifelong friends.
Jim was an innovative and progressive dairy and grain farmer, often repairing and designing his own equipment. In 1990, the farm took a direct hit from a tornado. The community came out in full support, and Jim did a remarkable job of persevering through the rebuilding and all that was involved. Jim told Joyce, “Things will be better than they were before!” In other words, God was going to bless them through all of this! He milked cows for 30 years, before selling the dairy in 1996.
When the weather allowed Jim to take a quick break from farm work, he enjoyed snow skiing in Colorado. Other trips included going to Estes Park in Colorado and hiking and looking for waterfalls, and traveling to Orlando, Marco Island and the Florida Keys. Jim and Joyce enjoyed a special trip to Hawaii, where Jim enjoyed snorkeling, as well as another time in Florida.
When Jim had time to relax, he read Christian magazines, farming magazines, and watched sports on TV. He also followed the grain markets and watched the weather.
Jim was a regular-attender and member of Parkview Church, actively serving in various capacities as an usher, trustee and clearing snow from parking lots. His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Jim and Joyce were blessed with two daughters, Michelle and Marilyn. Michelle and husband Joseph Kleinsasser, live in Hillsboro. Marilyn and husband Russ Friesen, live in Olathe, Kansas.
Jim dearly loved his granchildren, Ryan and Nathan Kleinsasser, and Libby, Abby, James and Benjamin Friesen. He also prayed faithfully for his grandchildren from the book, “The Power of a Praying Grandparent.”
The Thiessens took a 40th anniversary trip and created memories with Michelle, Joe and Ryan, and Marilyn, Russ, Libby and Abby to Clearwater Beach in Florida. For their 50th anniversary, Jim and Joyce took the family and all six grandchildren to San Antonio, Texas.
He continued farming until retiring in 2014, when the Thiessens moved to Hillsboro. In the latter years of his life, Parkinson’s took a toll on Jim’s health, but he continued to trust and serve God. He faithfully went to physical therapy to build up his ability to walk.
The family is especially thankful to the Lord for allowing Jim to celebrate his and Joyce’s 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends this November!
He developed an infection in his weakened body, and was unable to overcome it. It was a difficult week for Jim and the family, but gave the family time to say their good-byes. Hospice care made him comfortable and Parkside chaplain Nadine Friesen prayed that God would lead Jim gently home. Minutes later he was peacefully promoted to heaven on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Rosemary.
In addition to his wife, children and grandchildren, he is survived by his sister Enid Cady of Haysville, Kansas; and brother Linden (Dorie) Thiessen of rural Hillsboro; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family praises God for Jim’s life, well lived, to the Lord’s glory and honor!