Rev. Kenneth E. Thielman, age 92 of Melrose, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Friday, May 21, 2021, at CentraCare-Melrose Care Center in Melrose, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, May 26 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose with The Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler presiding. Burial will be at Saint Benedict’s Cemetery in Avon, Minnesota following the lunch.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Wednesday at the church in Melrose. A Vigil Prayer Service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening at the church.
Reverend Kenneth Edmund Thielman was born on August 16, 1928, in Avon, Minnesota. He was the son of Nicholas and Frances (Wellenstein) Thielman. Father Thielman attended Avon Elementary School in Avon, Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minnesota and undergraduate studies at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He received his seminary training at Saint John’s Seminary in Collegeville. Father Thielman was ordained to the priesthood by The Most Reverend Peter W. Bartholome, at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud on June 4, 1955. He celebrated his first Mass at the Church of Saint Benedict in Avon on June 5, 1955.
Father Thielman served in the following pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Saint Cloud: associate pastor, St. Joseph, Waite Park, June 1955-September 1961; pastor, St. Frederick, Verndale, September 1961-November 1965; Holy Cross, Pearl Lake, November 1965-June 1969; St. Joseph, Waite Park, June 1969-August 1980; Our Lady of Lourdes, Little Falls, August 1980-July 1990; and Christ the King, Browerville, July 6 1990-July 1998. Father Thielman retired July 1, 1998. After retirement, he was a CentraCare volunteer, volunteering 6,960 hours.
Father Thielman was instrumental in establishing the REC (Residents Encounter Christ) program in 1992. He also served as Chaplain for REC and TEC (Together Encountering Christ) programs. Father Thielman was Chaplain for the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Sauk Centre, 1992 until 1999.
Father Thielman is survived by brothers, Lowell (Phyllis) Thielman of Avon, Brother Nicholas Thielman, C.S.C of Holy Cross Notre Dame, Indiana, and sister-in-law, Rosemary Thielman of Brooklyn Park.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Sylvester, Nestor, Howard, Gerald, and Delroy, and sisters, Lenore, Bernice, Evelyn, Virginia, and Delphine.
Serving as casket bearers will be Gary Thielman, Cathy Blair, Paul Thielman, Mary Kay Nelson, Sheryl St. Johns, and Curt Sauer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Bangladesh Holy Cross Mission or CentraCare Hospice..
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