James Eugene Thelen, age 64, of Fowler, MI, passed away peacefully Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at his home surrounded by his family.
A Prayer Service with a Celebration of Jim's Life will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Goerge Chapel, Fowler, MI, at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 with Father Darryl Kempf presiding. Burial will take place at a later date at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held 6-8 P.M. on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 and on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 from 2-8 P.M. with family present from 2-4 & 6-8 P.M. at the funeral home. A Rosary Service will be Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M.
Jim was born in St. Johns, Michigan on July 9, 1957, the son of Eugene and Margaret (Ulrich) Thelen. He graduated from Fowler High School with the class of 1976. Jim was known by many nicknames: Rocky, Chipper, Smokey, Crazy Cooter, Jimbo, and many more! He loved people and was loved by many.
Jim was a hardworking man, learning his work ethic at a very young age on the family farm. This shaped every aspect of his life and he taught his children the same. He was dedicated to his work at Michigan Paving for 28 years, retiring in 2020.
Jim was very selfless and regardless of his own life struggles he always found a way to be a light for others. He was very passionate about his sobriety and through that passion impacted the lives of many others. He was very involved in AA in the area.
Jim enjoyed time spent with his children and grandchildren. They were the love of his life! He loved to play "MacGyver" and create things out of next to nothing. He liked to spend time in his "meat room" processing deer. His motorcycle and Corvette were his pride and joy.
Jim is survived by 3 children: Sarah (fiance Matt Elsea), Caleb, and Jacob Thelen; grandchildren: Hazel, Hudson, and River. He is also survived by his mother Margaret Thelen, 6 siblings: Jeff Thelen, Doug (LeeAnn) Thelen, Laurie (Adam) Platte, Lynn (Joe) Cook, Mary Beth (Mark) Smith, and Glen (Paula) Thelen; many nieces and nephews, and the mother of his children Catherine Thelen. Jim was preceded in death by his father Eugene Thelen, infant son Zachary, one brother Dean Thelen, and nephew Ben Platte.
Memorials may be made to Ele's Place, 1145 W. Oakland Ave., Lansing, MI 48915. Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Goerge Chapel, Fowler, Michigan.