Gerald “Jerry” C. Thissen, age 87, of Hutchinson died on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at the Homestead Hospice House in Owatonna. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at the Church of St. Philip in Litchfield. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service with a parish prayer service at 7:00 PM. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the St. Johns Catholic Cemetery in Darwin. Military honors will be provided by the Litchfield Military Honor Guard.
Gerald Christopher Thissen, the son of Edward and Myrtle (Brink) Thissen, was born on June 5, 1932, in Bird Island, Minnesota. He grew up in the Manannah area and attended country school there. He graduated from Litchfield High School in 1950. He enlisted in the national guard and served a year in Korea. He received the Korean Service Medal with two bronze Campaign Stars, the UN Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge and an Overseas Service Bar. In 1952 he returned home and attended Dunwoody on the GI Bill studying tool and die making. On September 11, 1954, he was united in marriage to Betty Lou Larson at the church rectory in Manannah. He lived in Minneapolis and had his own tool and die business where he designed and made hearing aid parts, toy parts, and several things you may recognize in your home. Jerry later sold his business to his partner and moved to a hobby farm near Lake Jenny in 1966. He worked for 3M for 27 years as a tool and die maker. They moved to his current residence between Hutchinson and Darwin. Betty Lou died and Jerry later married Kathy Fiecke at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin on December 1, 1990. While working at 3M he also taught tool and die making at Hutchinson Vo. Tech. He was a member of St. John’s Catholic and attended St. Philip’s in Litchfield. He was also a member of the VFW and American Legion and a lifetime member of the Wolfhounds. He enjoyed travelling to Wolfhound reunions, raising and showing Ayrshire cattle. Jerry had an incredible work ethic and loved to work.
He is survived by his wife Kathy Thissen of Hutchinson, children Chris (Galen) Larson of Grove City, Nancy Thissen (special friend Kyle Boucher) of Mayer, Karen Thissen (special friend George Mietznar) of Owatonna, and Paul Thissen, 3 stepsons Bobby Artmann, Donny (and Kari) Artmann and Kenny (and Dawn) Artmann. He is also survived by grandchildren, Andy (and Nicole), Susan (and Jason), Ryan (and Liz), Rachael, Reed, Riley, Wyatt and Rollie, step grandchildren Josh, Jessi and Tristan, Nancy's foster son Nate Patterson, great grandchildren Lexi and Katelynn, Freya, Kayden and siblings Edward “Bud” (and Elaine) Thissen Jr. of Otsego and Fred (and Phyllis) Thissen of Robbinsdale, Betty Thissen of Woodbury, and Charles (and Julie) Caron of Estelline, SD. He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Betty Lou, brother Robert Thissen, sisters Mary Ann Scheeler, Marcella Scheeler, Lorraine Caron, grandson Patrick Larson and great grandchildren Caleb Karnitz and Reagan Gerald Allison.