Kenneth M. Theisen
MADISON, Wis. — Kenneth M. Theisen, 93, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, with family members at his side. He was born in Madison on Oct. 28, 1923, to Michael and Lillian (Johnson) Theisen, attended St. Bernard’s Grade School, and graduated from Madison East High School in 1941. Ken married Dolores Kurt on Sept. 12, 1944, at St Bernard’s Catholic Church, Madison.
He was deeply committed to his Catholic faith, and along with his wife Dolores, raised their five children to love God, and be generous with others. Ken was very devoted to their children: Teri (Dave) Kinney, Sue (Dan) Bailey, Jean (Bob) Dye, Bill (Glo) Theisen, and Jeff (Dee) Theisen. He is survived by 10 grandchildren, Steve Kinney, Jill (Dave) Yanke, grandson-in-law Dennis Owen, Theresa (Kevin) Hanko, Dan Dye, Kris (John) Ehle, Brent Theisen, Derek (Marcy) Theisen, Andrea Theisen, Becki (Carlo) Arellano. He also leaves 22 great-grandchildren, and a great-great grandson, who will be born in July. He is survived by a sister, Dorothy Theisen.
He was a member of St. Bernard’s for 50 years, and St. Dennis for 43 years. Ken and his late wife Dolores attended daily Mass, were active members in the Schoenstatt Movement in the Catholic Church, members of East Side Club for over 30 years, and the Catholic Knights Insurance Society. He was a member of the American Legion Post 329, Briggsville, WI.
Ken was a very humble man, but he was most proud of his support for the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign–he worked for over ten years crafting over 4,000 pilgrim shrines which were critical to the continuing success in the campaign to promote the praying of the daily family rosary.
Ken proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy in 1943-45, and he played a key role in developing a new torpedo to keep up with enemy subs. He worked at Gisholt and Madison Kipp as a machinist, and then as a plate-maker for 32 years at Webcrafters. He could fix anything, and was a patient teacher to his children and grandchildren, and sons-in-law. He was well versed in math, electricity, small engine mechanics, home construction, as well as auto, appliance, toys and bicycle repair. He loved gardening and raising vegetables to give to family and friends.
He wrote a family history book: “The Way I Remember It,” and followed this up with many years of remembrances in annual, eagerly awaited Christmas letters to his children and grandchildren.
Ken and Dolores will be remembered as a couple who were very much in love, and always walked hand in hand. They enjoyed 70 years together, traveling throughout the US as well as Europe. In his later years, he was a big Badger, Packer, and Brewer fan. His favorite activity was enjoying his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was an avid card player, specializing in euchre and 500.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores, his parents, his brothers Vince, Neil, an infant brother Steven, and a granddaughter, Julie Owen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, at SAINT DENNIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 505 Dempsey Rd., Madison. Visitation will be held at the church, from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m., when a rosary will be prayed. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.
Special thanks to Dr. Albert Musa, Tina Doherty, Julie Minor, and the staff at Oak Park Place, and the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for their compassionate care. We are grateful for the many ways you all added to his quality of life during the past few years.
His life has been one of support and service to his family and friends. Now we rejoice that he has been reunited with his beloved wife, Dolores, and together they are resting in the loving arms of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: the Schoenstatt Sisters, St. Dennis Catholic Church, or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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