Kenneth Thele, 80, passed away on Friday, September 2, 2011 at Fir Lane Health and Rehabilitation surrounded by his family. Ken was born Morris Kenneth Thele on August 6, 1931 to Walborg and Sverre Christian Thele in Berlin, New Hampshire. Ken grew up in New York City living in all four burrows at one point of time.
Ken joined the army on January 23, 1951 where he was stationed in Fukuoka Japan during the Korean War. His honorable discharge date was December 24, 1953. When he got out of the army he moved to Elma, Washington where his parents had moved to. His father was the Methodist minister for the Elma, McCleary and Satsop Church. He met his wife of 53 years in Elma. Ken married Marlene Ardell Pehrsson on September 21, 1957. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a big party with family and friends in September of 2007.
At age 16, Ken spent a summer in Norway where he first learned to play "The Bones". After retirement he played his bones in Karaoke bars and amazed many. His other hobbies were: string art, sports, photography, karaoke, playing poker, fishing and golfing. He never missed a little league game and he was the coach for his daughter’s softball teams for many years. Fishing was a great love of his all his life, starting as a child where he went fishing with his dad in upstate New York at Loon Lake. Ken had a great love of Photography and had owned his own photography studio in Aberdeen (Flower Studio) during the early years of marriage. He started working at the Washington State Corrections Center in January 1965 when it was first opened, working as a Correctional Officer for 25 years. He retired from the state of Washington, Washington Corrections Center in 1988. He was also active in the Nimrod Club, Moose Lodge, Eagles Lodge and Historical Society.
He was preceded in death by his sister Esther Kendall and her twin sister Gladys who died at birth. Ken is survived by his wife, Marlene Thele; children, Richard Kenneth Thele, Cindy Lou Nuxoll and Vikki Sue Gigstead; sister, Shirley Richard; brother, Sigurd Thele; grandchildren, Thomas Paul Gigstead Jr., Melissa Marie Gigstead and Cadie Lou Nuxoll; great granddaughter, Rose Marie Gigstead and one more on the way which will be named after him.
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Satsop Methodist Church at 2pm on Friday, September 9, 2011. The family request that in lieu of flower memorial donations be sent to the American Cancer Society. On line condolences may be sent on www.mccombfh.com. The family is being served by McComb Funeral Home