Richard Melvin Thelen, age 77, of Fowler, MI, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fowler, MI, at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, November 22, 2021, with Rev. Fr. Dennis Howard presiding. Burial will take place at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Fowler, MI. Visitation will be held 5-7 P.M. with a Rosary Service at 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Goerge Chapel, Fowler
Richard was born in St. Johns, Michigan on February 25, 1944, the son of Leonard and Rose (Schomisch) Thelen. He graduated from Fowler High School with the class of 1962. Dick proudly served his country in the United States Navy Seabees.
On August 14, 1965, Dick married Patricia Ann Braska at St. Isidore Catholic Church, Laingsburg, MI. They were blessed with 56 years of marriage. They were members of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. He worked for Fisher Body for 32 years, retiring in 1997.
Dick lived his life for the Lord. He had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling on his motorcycle with his wife, whom he loved immensely. Lake Michigan has been a favorite vacation spot for the yearly family camp outs. Each year his children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren looked forward to sitting around the fire to listen to his advice, quick wit and to just be with him as he was a great storyteller, and was always good for a laugh. Family was very important to him; he enjoyed getting them all together, whether it is a cookout with his wife, kids and grandkids or simply playing cards with all of his siblings. Dick was also known by many for his big bear hugs. He was a proud member and previous commander of the VFW and enjoyed playing cards with his many friends there.
Dick is survived by his wife Pat, children: Wendy (Jeff) Armbrustmacher of Fowler, MI; Amy (Alan) Martin of Fowler, MI; Richard "Rick" (Jessica) Thelen II of Fowler, MI; Tina (Jon) Thelen of Westphalia, MI; Shelly (Gary) Martin of Fowler, MI; and son-in-law Bruce Fox of Fowler. He is also survived by 21 grandchildren: Kyle (Kendra) Armbrustmacher, Chelsea (Evan) Crisler, Mitchell (Ashley Bowers) Armbrustmacher, Kristal (Josh) Thomas, Dylan Armbrustmacher, Brittany (Eric) Thelen, Alyssa (Garry) Gurk, Ashlyn Martin, Austen (Kenzie) Martin, Ambrea (fiance' Jacob Folske) Martin, Kaylah Thelen, Richard Thelen III, Collin Thelen, Ellie Thelen, Kassidy Thelen, Makenna Thelen, Jadyn Thelen, Landon Thelen, Wyatt Martin, Savanah Martin, and Hunter Martin; 8 great-grandchildren, 2 great step grandchildren: siblings: Gary (Sue) Thelen, Dale (Dottie) Thelen, and Sandy Steed. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Tammy Fox, great-grandson Gunner Thelen, and sister Judy Finkbeiner.
Memorials may be made to Most Holy Trinity Catholic School. Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Goerge Chapel, Fowler, Michigan.
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Most Holy Trinity Educational Trust Fund