James “Jim” Louis Thelen, age 87, of Grand Haven, passed away very peacefully on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. He was born at home on December 29, 1933, in Pewamo, MI to Louis and Hilda (Fox) Thelen. Jim married Mary Ann Bourdon Field on February 22, 1986.
Jim was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1961. In his vocation, Rev. Fr. James L. Thelen served three years at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, six years at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Muskegon, and one year at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lowell. Following, he worked for many years as a salesman.
In retirement, Jim was very active with volunteer work in the church as a Stephen Minister, Lector, and Eucharistic Minister, including delivering communion to local nursing homes. Additionally, he drove the elderly to their doctors' appointments through Four Points Center for Successful Aging. Throughout his life, Jim was a faithful blood donor. He stayed active during retirement by mowing the greens at the Spring Lake Country Club, which reminded him of his days working on the family farm, driving tractors.
Jim was an extremely kind, gentle, and generous man who was deeply rooted in his faith. He had an open heart and was a very compassionate listener. Jim loved to entertain and tell stories of his youth on the family farm, where he learned the value of hard work and family. He also had a witty sense of humor, and his one-liners always made everyone laugh. Jim was an avid reader, and playing cards with friends and family and solving crossword puzzles were some of his favorite past-times. Above all, he was a loving husband, devoted father, and a fun “Pops” to his grandchildren.
Jim cherished and loved his family. He will be dearly missed by his wife, Mary Ann; his daughter, Jennifer (Matt) Kenny; his son, Jaime (Florida) Thelen; grandchildren: Daniel (Katie), Paige, Alanna (Eric), Hannah, Jenna, and Reece; three great-grandchildren: Connor, Noah, and Grayson; siblings, Sister Donna Jean Thelen, Kate Hanses, Tony (Mary Ann) Thelen, Bill (Diane) Thelen, Bonnie (Bob) Pearson, and Sue Thelen; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Hilda Thelen; his son, Stephen Field; his sister, Donna Kramer; his brothers-in-law, Philip Kramer and David Hanses; and nephew, Philip Kramer.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021, at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Catholic Parish, with Fr. Charles Schwartz officiating. Visitation with Jim's family will be held one hour prior to the Mass, from 10 to 11 a.m., at the church. Masks and Social Distancing will be required at all services. Interment will take place in the Summer of 2021 at St. Mary's Cemetery, Muskegon, MI.
The Funeral Mass will also be live-streamed, for those unable to attend the service.
Please visit: https://youtu.be/KDICp7UOZkQ at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, 2/26/21 to view live.
Memorial Contributions may be made to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Catholic Parish or Hospice of North Ottawa.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" Louis Thelen, please visit our floral store.
St. Patrick~St. Anthony Parish
920 Fulton Street, Grand Haven MI 49417
Hospice of North Ottawa Community
1309 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven MI 49417