John Winslow Thiele was born, August 1, 1920, in the small town of Ramsey, Illinois. He passed away January 28, 2012. His family moved to La Mesa in 1922 where his mother, Helen, was from. His father, Ross Thiele, took a job with the elegant Marston's Department Store in downtown San Diego. In 1932 his father opened his own business, Ross Thiele Interiors. John attended Point Loma High School and became an Eagle Scout at age 15. He had one sister, Betty Thiele Hage of Point Loma. |
John attended the University of California at Berkley where he studied architecture and was in the Sigma Nu Fraternity. He later entered the New York School of Interior Design. His education was cut short by the attack on Pearl Harbor thrusting the United States into World War II. John enlisted as a Navy Ensign and met the daughter of Admiral William Chambers, then Commander of Balboa Navel Hospital, San Diego, and the Commander of the Medical Corp in the Pacific Fleet. John married Lavinia Ann Chambers on December 1, 1943, before shipping out to the South Pacific. He retired as Commander after serving in the Pacific theater and again in the Korean War.
In 1946 he joined his father in business as Ross Thiele & Son, Interior Design located at 1227 Prospect Street in La Jolla for 40 years before moving to its current location on Girard Avenue. John and his father served a growing clientele in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area importing antiques from France, England, Italy and Spain, traveling twice yearly to Europe for 50 years.
John Thiele was a Founding Member of Rotary International in La Jolla and was very involved in the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 4 in La Jolla and then serving on the San Diego County Council BSA Executive Board for many years helping develop the Mataquay Boy Scout Summer Camp. He also served on the Board of the Timken Gallery in Balboa Park complimenting his love of art and culture.
John was predeceased by his wife, Lavinia, after nearly 60 years of marriage. Together they lovingly shared the lives of their three children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Family members include daughter, Kathryn Makielski (Lance) Degnan of Port Orchard, Washington; granddaughters, Heather Ann Makielski and Kimberly (Jay) Miller; great-grandchildren, Madeleine, Tate and Carson; son, Robert (Marta) Thiele of San Diego; grandsons, Ian Thiele and Ryan Thiele; daughter, Elizabeth (Ron) Barkett of La Jolla; and grandson, Adam Sitcoscy.
Services will be held Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 4:00 pm at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any donations to the Boy Scouts of America or the La Jolla Presbyterian Church.
Published in La Jolla Light on Feb. 2, 2012