John E. "Buck" Thiel, 83, of Remsen, died Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Floyd Valley Healthcare Hospital in Le Mars, Iowa.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Catherine's Catholic Church in Oyens, Iowa, with the Rev. William McCarthy officiating and Deacon Rick Roder assisting. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Remsen, with military rites conducted by V.F.W. Post 3328, American Legion Post 220 both of Remsen. Visitation with the family will be 4 to 7 p.m. today, with a rosary by the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus chalice presentation and a vigil prayer service all at 5 p.m., at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Visitation will resume 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.
Buck was born on April 9, 1936, in Remsen, the son of John "Jack" and Mary Lucille (Tracey) Thiel. He was raised and educated in Remsen and graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1954. After high school, he joined the Army Reserve. Later, he joined the U.S. Army and served from March 8, 1957 to March 7, 1959. Before and after his military service he lived in Remsen, drove school bus and worked for the family business, Jack Thiel Incorporated beginning in 1954. He was known for performing ditch digging, plumbing and well work. He was also a grave digger in Remsen from 1963 and later added Granville until a car accident forced retirement in 2008.
Buck was a lifetime member of St. Mary's Catholic Church, where he was an altar server as a child and a member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Fr. Michael J. McGivney Assembly. He also loved music. He was chased by many women but never caught.
Survivors include his brother, Bernard "Shorty" Thiel of Remsen; one sister-in-law, Mary Kay Thiel of Remsen; a niece; and several nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Marion, Robert and Daniel "Butch" (Florence) Thiel; and one sister-in-law, Ruth Thiel.
Casket bearers will be Dennis Slota, Danny Steward, Chris, Matt, Mitch and Andy Thiel.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery or St. Mary's Church Interior Project, P.O. Box 509, Remsen, IA.