John Thimesch Obituary

John  Edward Thimesch
John Edward Thimesch

August 27, 1926 - August 30, 2021
Born in Colorado
Resided in Johnston, IA
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When John Edward Thimesch began life in the arms of two people on August 27, 1926, they were all soon drawn into the throes of the Depression. Because John's strong father was forced to chase work building fuel tanks, their little family moved 15 times in his youth- three relocations to the same town of Casper, Wyoming. He attended three different high schools before graduation. He saw service in the Navy before World War II ended, then sought higher education through the benefit of the GI Bill.

Among his many talents, he showed some musical ability, playing the violin and the piano. Though Electrical Engineering was his field of study at the University of Kansas, a fantastic opportunity landed him with Phillips Petroleum Company upon graduation. On a sales trip through Coffeyville, Kansas, he called up Carol Jean Squire, whom he had dated at KU. They reconnected, fell in love, and proceeded to start a family that eventually grew to eight children. They shared a solid marriage over 55 years.

Perhaps that is why John also had to chase work across four states during our raising. Carol voiced his expectations, while softening them with her own. The household order that he thought was so important had to give, just a little, for he came to realize that children develop more fully when the straight lines find a curve.

He and Carol built three houses together, and they always included big kitchens and yards. John did as much of the finish work as he could. As the years unfolded and the needs of eight children multiplied, he made sure that we spilled out into a safe neighborhood with a well-kept lawn.

John landed jobs in three more industries after Phillips, continually reinventing himself while providing financial and emotional support. He remained steadfast in his faith, led by strong example, and watched carefully as we brought future partners home. While we can list all the nicknames that he fondly gave us, or that we gave each other, he was only called John, named for a paternal grandfather whom he never met. It was symbolic, really- as we grew and changed over the years, John never seemed to, save that his hair whitened and he eventually carved out some time for himself.

His last career in real estate concluded at the prestigious age of 89. We should have asked him how many houses he sold during those thirty plus years. For as long as they could, the extended families brought their children back to the comfortable home in Urbandale, where memories had been made and needed to be shared.

Eventually, when Carol passed, after 37 years in one place, John sold his own house. McAuley Terrace and Martina Place offered him security, friendships, and more oversight. He said, "The food isn't too bad, either!" Though his capable hands had long ago lost their flexibility, someone, somewhere, played the violin for him as he surrendered to death on August 30, 2021. He lived to be 95 and three days.

John was preceded in death by his father Nick Thimesch and his mother Frances Landwehr. He is survived by his sister, Patsy Hastert of Olathe, KS. Left to remember him as the rock of our family are Dietre (Mike) McCormick of Carlisle, IA. Devin (Gary) Moore of Rochester, MN. Denice (Joe) Girdner of Chilliwack, BC Canada. Tegan Thimesch. Cheryl (Steve) Dykema of Edmond, OK. Timothy Thimesch of Concord, CA. Todd (Amy) Thimesch of Marshalltown, IA. Christen Thimesch of Kansas City, MO. His legacy includes 23 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren.

Memorials may be directed to St. Joseph’s Emergency Family Shelter.

Services are as follows: Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the Westover Funeral Home prior to the Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m.

Livestream link available here

Friends are welcome to join us as we review and celebrate a good man whom we were lucky to call our Dad. Come as you wish, for no restrictive comments will be made regarding this gathering. After the brutal isolation incurred by the pandemic, John quipped more than once, "I'd rather die of Covid than hear about it anymore."





Funeral Home
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322