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Obituary for Robert "Jim" Thelen, Jr.

Robert “Jim” Thelen, Jr. was born on September 20, 1938. He was the son of Robert and Viola (Blundy) Thelen. He was a dairy farmer and he worked at ET MacKenzie Company for many years as a heavy equipment operator. Jim had a love for animals, especially cats, and had a name for each and every cat on the farm. He enjoyed spending time outside and appreciated the beauty of nature. He valued hard work and persevered through many health struggles for most of his life. He was a humble and patient man who accomplished many things, without expecting accolades. He was a good listener, but was prone to asking many questions and liked to figure out how things were made. He had an eye for nature and would notice things that others would not. Later in life, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, listening to their stories and teasing them every chance he could.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, David and Wayne Thelen; sister, Judy Martin; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Arnold and Dorothy Nurenberg; and several brother and sisters-in-law.

Surviving are his wife, of 54 years, Arlene Thelen; daughters, Kendra (Mike) Grasseschi and Jennifer (Jason) Chamberlain; grandchildren, TJ, Reese, Bree, and Ethan Chamberlain; sisters, Janice Getzen, Marlene (Wayne) Dick, Mary Baker, Gail (Dick) Hill; brother, Donald Thelen; sister-in-law, Deb Thelen; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Special thank you to the Compassus Hospice Staff and to special friends, Betty Leyer, Nancy Thelen, Nancy Onuoha, Gary Bond, and Brian Werner.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Mike Alber on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland. Rite of Committal will follow at Portland Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Monday from 3-5 and 6-8 p.m. with the rosary being prayed at 2:30 p.m. at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. In lieu of thank you cards, a donation will be made to a charity in Jim’s honor. Online condolences may be made at


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