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Patrick H. ThiessenFebruary 5, 1928 ~ March 7, 2019 (age 91)
Patrick Henry (Pat) Thiessen, was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on February 5, 1928 to Henry Wipf Thiessen and Pauline Unruh Thiessen. Patrick had one older sister, Lillian. (Lillian married Robert D. Love) Pat was an active member of Boy Scout Troop #1 in Hutchinson from the beginning of its organization. Under the mentorship of Lewis Oswald, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, one of the first awarded in the Troop. Pat enrolled at Kansas University during WW II in the summer of 1945, becoming a member of the Class of 1949. He attended the University on a year-around basis, and graduated with an AB degree with a major in law. He entered law school at KU and graduated after the fall semester of 1950, at the age of 22. While attending KU, Pat was elected a member of the Owl Society (an honorary society for Juniors) and Sachem (an honorary society for Seniors). He was elected as President of the Student Council, and served as a Judge on the Supreme Court for the Student Body. While in Law School, he was appointed to and served on the Board of Editors for the Kansas Law Journal. He was a member of the Sigma Chi social fraternity. Pat married Lorraine (Larry) Ross on September 2, 1950 during Larry’s senior year in college and Pat’s senior year in law school. Pat obtained a commission in the US Army’s Judge Advocate General Corp as a 1st Lieutenant. He and Larry moved to Falls Church, VA where they lived while Pat was posted in the Pentagon, serving in the Defense Appellate Division for the Army. Their son, Mark H. Thiessen, was born while they lived in Falls Church. In 1953, Pat was honorably discharged from the Army, and he and his wife moved to Salina, Kansas, where he practiced law for two years. In 1955, they moved to Hutchinson, KS, and Pat entered the practice of law with William (Bill) Mitchell and A. Lewis Oswald. He was appointed the Assistant County Attorney for Reno County under John Alden. He was elected Reno County Attorney in 1958. His three daughters, Evan, Chris and Anne were born in Hutchinson. In 1960, Pat and Larry moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Pat entered the Flour Milling business. He was employed by Ross Industries, a company in which his father-in law, Paul Ross, owned a 25% interest. Pat worked in the office of the Kansas Milling Company, which was the largest of five milling companies that were totally owned by Ross Industries (Kansas Milling Company, Wichita, Ks; American Flours, Newton, Ks; Hunter Milling Company, Wellington, KS; Wichita Terminal Elevator, Wichita, Ks; and Whitewater Flour Mills, Whitewater, KS). In 1974, Ross Industries was sold to Cargill, Incorporated. Pat remained with Cargill until he retired in 1993. While working for Cargill, Pat moved to Kansas City from 1981 until 1983, where he helped Fritz Corrigan form Cargill Milling, a Division of Cargill, Incorporated. Cargill Milling was formed by combining three separate flour milling companies: Ross industries, headquartered in Wichita, Burris Milling, headquartered in Ft. Worth, Tx, and Seaboard Allied Milling Company, headquartered in a suburb of Kansas City. In 1983, he was appointed as the manager of the Southwest Division of Cargill Flour Milling, a position he held for ten years. Pat and Larry returned to Wichita in 1983. While working for Cargill Milling, Pat was very active in the Millers National Federation, principally working on the Export Committee. He acted as Chairman of that Committee for several years. For ten years he traveled extensively to points in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa on Federation and Cargill Milling business. Upon his retirement, Pat was appointed a Life Member of the Millers National Federation. While living in Wichita, Pat was elected to the Wichita School Board and served as its President. He was President of the Wichita Downtown Kiwanis Club. He also served on the boards of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. He was a board member of Intrust Financial Corporation, a position he held for 25 years. He was an Elder of the Eastminister Presbyterian Church and served as President of the Congregation for one year. Later, Pat was a loyal participant for many years in a small men’s weekly Bible Study Group that met to discuss and study the Scriptures. Pat’s approach to life was whole-hearted. He enjoyed a robust discussion. He loved learning and applied himself to investigating all angles of a subject, whether it be baking, business, or beliefs. But what he learned, he then loved to teach in order to help others. Pat’s faith in God was of supreme importance, not just to learn about it but to endeavor to live it. He was passionate in his encouragement of others to seek a true relationship with God. To the end, he was trying to make a difference in the lives of those he knew, whether they be life-long friends or new ones forged in the Care Home. He wasn’t all business, though. Pat enjoyed hunting, golf, and almost any card game. He and Larry loved Santa Fe. And he loved to laugh. His epic smile and laughter will be missed by all who knew him. On March 7, 2019, Patrick H. Thiessen, surrounded by those who loved him, finished his earthly journey. He ran a good race and crossed the finish line with confidence and peace. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine (Larry) Ross Thiessen, and his sister, Mrs. Robert D. (Lillian) Love; He is survived by his four children, Mark Thiessen (Paula), Evan Thiessen Stumpf (Richard), Chris Thiessen McDonnold (Mark), Anne Thiessen Owen (John), eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The family will hold a private service. Pat’s family requests no flowers be sent. Please send any memorials to the charitable organization of your choice.