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Verna Thielen

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Verna Irene Thielen (Klatt)

August 17, 2021 - August 18, 2021


On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, our beloved mother, Verna Irene Thielen (Klatt) departed this earthly life at Joseph Creek Care Village at the age of 89 years.

Verna was born in Foremost, Alberta on August 17, 1932 to Rudolph and Mary Klatt.  She was part of a family of six and lived on a farm with her family of three brothers; Rupert, Lawrence, Glen and two sisters, Adeline and Julia.  All of her siblings have predeceased her.  She grew up riding horses, driving tractors, and a motorcycle too!

Verna married Jerome Thielen in 1951 in Milk River, Alberta.  They lived the first few years of their married life on a farm at Allerston, AB.    In 1961, Jerome and Verna moved their young family to a ranch in Grasmere, BC. They spent ten happy years in the valley, making many lifelong friends.  During these busy years she still found time to try her hand at many crafts, and sew clothes for her children and was known for showing up with a birthday cake at many of the neighbour’s homes.

From 1971 to 1990, they went on to operate the Alberta Motel in Creston, where mom was in her glory, being able to readily find so many fruits and vegetables to can.  She filled many jars, and dad built many shelves!  Mom was an avid canner, jam maker and baker.  She was famous for her cinnamon buns and pies.   She loved to garage sale to find bargains for her kids and grandkids, but mostly she enjoyed meeting people while she was out and about.  One of her favourite days was Halloween.  She would put on a mask and go out to the neighbours, never talking, except in a funny voice so they wouldn’t know it was her.

They sold the motel in 1990 and made their final move to Cranbrook to retire, but mainly to be closer to family.  In their retirement years they got a computer and Mom loved emailing and sending jokes to people to brighten their day.  She also spent much of her early retirement visiting her beloved seniors, taking them treats and keeping them company.

One of Mom’s most special experiences was when she and Dad travelled to Nashville with great friends from Grasmere, Doug and Jessie McDonald.  It was their trip of a lifetime!

Her husband, Jerome was a very talented musician.  He played for weddings and dances and mom enjoyed then, and continued to enjoy to the end, the old time country music.  Music was a strong connection for her and she liked to sing too.  She especially appreciated all the entertainers that came to Joseph Creek Village.

Verna belonged to the CWL and had a strong bond with many women out in the community.  No one sent better cards and letters than she.  Her birthday book is full of family days to be remembered.   With her continued failing eyesight she had to rely more on the phone for those contacts, and quickly learned who Google was!  Mom taught us to care about others and to keep in touch.

Mom and Dad had the privilege of almost 61 years of marriage.  Unfortunately, Dad passed away in 2012 but Mom was able to stay on in her own home until knee surgery didn’t allow her to walk up and down the stairs of her home anymore.  She moved to Joseph Creek Village where she enjoyed the friendship of so many people that lived there.  She would drive her power chair wherever she needed to go within the building to see people and attend socials, and outside for appointments.  Even with her failing eyesight, she was able to win the wheelchair rodeo!  If something involved fun or music, you can bet she was there!!

While her eyesight had failed her, her hearing was very good.  She had an ear for voices and knew each and every care aide at Joseph Creek by the sound of their voice or their footsteps. Many of them had a special place in her heart.   Mom never left her apartment without putting on her lipstick, a pair of earrings and a bracelet, and she always loved having her nails done at the nearby mall.

Verna leaves behind her five children; Sheila (Shan) Fitzpatrick in Invermere, Brian (Dari) Thielen in Jaffray, Gerry (Christa) Thielen in Claresholm, Ab, Gwenn (Saied) Kiaresh in Kelowna and Scott (Angie) Thielen in Calgary.  Verna has 12 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.  She and dad loved babysitting these kids!

Verna was predeceased by her beloved husband Jerome in 2012 and her infant son, Michael in 1963.

The family of Verna wishes to acknowledge the many special friends she had that brought comfort and joy to her days, in these last few months especially.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Verna held when it is safe to do so and COVID restrictions are lifted.  Condolences may be left for the family at

Mark Memorial Community Funeral Home in care of arrangements (250) 426-4864


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Mark Memorial Funeral Services

Mark Memorial Funeral Services Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Jo-Anne Mann
Relation: Friend

We are so sorry for the loss of your dear Verna.What a lovely tribute to your mom-it fits her to a tee!
Your mom had a quick wit,loved jokes and having a good time.She was always interested in what was happening in people’s lives and had a curious mind,always wanting to learn new things.
Reflect on the good memories to help you through this difficult time.
As Robin said, your mom and dad are now together and dancing!
God’s Blessings to you all.
Take Care
The Mann Girls-Patty, Jo-Anne and Robin

From: Bill Betcher
Relation: Knew Verna in Creston, played music regularly at Joseph Creeek

As a regular entertainer at Joseph Cree with both Side x Side and Sugar Moon, I can speak for all of us when I say we so enjoyed having Verna in the audience, so familiar with most of our songs, so enjoying the music, and being a wonderful person for us to relate to! We will miss her but have great memories! Bill Betcher (formerly of Creston).

From: Debbie Thompson
Relation: Friend

Condolences to Verna’s family. Our parents, the Salvador’s, became good friends during their stay at Joseph Creek. She always made sure our
parents were included in the activities and especially the many music sessions. Once our mom moved to longterm care Verna would make her way over to have a visit. She will be missed!

From: Fred & Marion Schindel
Relation: Parish friends

Our deepest condolences go out to all the Thielen families. Verna will be sadly missed . Always a joy to visit with her.

From: Kathy Rieberger
Relation: Met her while my husband & I lived in J C.

Verna made friends very easily I think & I was one of them during my short time in @ Joseph Creek. She kept everyone on their toes. I’m hoping you, her family will all enjoy many of your memories at this. I know she is dancing & singing in heaven with all the loved ones who have gone before her.

From: Madeline Colberg
Relation: Friend and extended family.

What a beautiful tribute to Verna. Her life was full of action and touched many people. For us, my sisters and I, her letters and messages of encouragement when our Mother died (and long after) were so thoughtful and considerate. Also, especially when my husband Tom died, I was touched by her ongoing care and attention. It is how I will remember her, as someone ‘who took the time’. My sympathy to all of Verna’s family at this sad time.

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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