Franz Thiessen

Franz Thiessen’s spirit left his body on January 8, 2024, after a brief illness.

He was born in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine April 18, 1932. An only child, he and his mother Olga fled their home due to the German army’s advance towards St Petersburg, ending up in the post-WWII Ludwigsburg Germany displaced persons camp. On March 29, 1949, sponsored by a Mennonite, they emigrated to the US, settling in Denbigh, VA.  

Working as a carpenter for LB Weber and then for decades at Brunk Tile, he set an example of what hard work and thriftiness could achieve, additionally giving of his time and money to benefit others at Habitat For Humanity and the Peninsula Foodbank as well as through Denbigh Presbyterian Church, where he was a member for almost 60 years.

He is survived by Helen (his wife of 67 years), three sons, Eric, Aaron, and David, their wives, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank his caretakers, Sherita and Cherylvette, Heartland Hospice, and the staff at Mennowood for their kindness over the past six months.

A private graveside service will occur on Wednesday, and a public memorial service will be at the Denbigh Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Jan 20, at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a contribution to Habitat or the Foodbank or simply performing an act of kindness for someone in need.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick Bartholomew

    I never knew Franz, but the little I know of him through the amazing summary of his life tells me he was an incredible man, with a brilliant soul.

    I wish you all my very best. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    May he ever live on in the eyes of his wife and children, and theirs.

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