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Jerome Albert Thies

February 1, 1942 February 23, 2022
Jerome Albert Thies
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Obituary for Jerome Albert Thies
Jerome “Jerry” Albert Thies, 80, of Mapleton passed away Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He was born February 1, 1942 in Reedsburg, WI, to Clarence and Milda Thies. He graduated from Webb High School in Reedsburg in 1960, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. He was a member of Delta Sigma Pi fraternity. He continued his education at Aurora University, Aurora, IL and earned a second bachelor’s degree in engineering science in 1977. He worked for Caterpillar, Inc. from 1965-1989 as a mechanical engineer. With Jerry’s work at CAT, he was credited with several patents. Jerry was always proud of his association with Caterpillar and confidently wore the CAT logo on hats, sweatshirts, and various gear throughout his retirement. Jerry was a 10-year volunteer fireman in Kaneville, IL. He was an active ham radio operator (WB9BDK) for over 20 years and started a ham radio club in Geneva, IL, where he and other members taught boy scouts, ham radio, and Morse code.

Jerry married Mary Jane Donovan on June 13, 1964. She survives. Together they had three children: Jennifer Shannon of Carthage, MO, Jeffrey Thies of Allen, TX, and Stephanie (Roger) Alvey of Mapleton, IL. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Libby (Brett) Collier, Molly & Sophie Shannon of Carthage, MO; Emily & Olivia Thies of Houston,Texas; Hannah, Clara, Hank & Will Alvey of Mapleton, IL. Jerry loved his wife and family with all his heart. Education was important to him, and he was so proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. He was a gentle giant who loved the Packers and Badgers in equal measure. If you lost it, he’d find it. If it broke, he’d fix it. Your Chex Mix was not safe with him, nor was the pecan pie! Jerry could build furniture and loved tools. He was quite the whistler and had a gift for striking up a conversation, but don’t ask him to make anything but coffee. The man never knew a stranger and Lake Camelot and Five Points Washington will keenly miss his walking visits. He loved the public library, reading, and movies. Jerry was funny, intelligent, devoted to God, and faithful always. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria. Few men are designed like Jerry, brimming with honesty, integrity, love and a willingness to help. He was a long-time volunteer at the Methodist Hospital mailroom for over 30 years. We know in our hearts he’s rejoicing in heaven, whole and healthy, and we will laugh together again.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Milda Thies, and his younger sister, Yvonne Rach.

Jerry’s service will be a private family gathering. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Peoria or UnityPoint Health-Methodist Volunteer Services.

The Cremation Society of Mid-Illinois Co. Pekin/Peoria is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at
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