Agnes "Pat" Thiessen(1916 - 2012)

Agnes "Pat" M. Thiessen, 96


Formerly of Red Lake Falls

Mar. 1, 1916 - Oct. 1, 2012

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 4, 2012 at Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church in Becker for Agnes "Pat" M. Thiessen, age 96, who passed away Monday at St. Benedict's Senior Community in St. Cloud. Friends and family may call one hour prior to the services Thursday at the church. Arrangements were entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Clear Lake.

Agnes was born March 1, 1916 in Lying In Hospital in Manhattan to Mary Chambers and Tim Finnigan. She was given up for adoption and transferred to the New York Foundling Home run by the Sisters of Charity. Pat was baptized Roman Catholic in St. Vincent Ferrar Chapel. Her birth mother was from Corcreeny, N. Ireland and belonged to the Church of Ireland. The Sisters of Charity sent letters to parishes offering children for adoption. Harmidas and Alphonsine Patnode applied and were accepted. In 1919 Pat was part of a group of children sent out from New York for adoption. The train arrived in Crookston, MN where Pat was met by her new brother, David Patnode. David was later killed in a car accident.

Pat married Victor Leon Thiessen on August 12, 1939. Victor and Pat had eight children, William David, Gloria Jean, Michael Allen, Thomas Paul, Ronald James, Loren Robert, Patrick Dennis and Kenneth John. In 1961 Pat and many orphan train riders formed a group called Minnesota Orphan Train Riders. The group met every year and became a family of people who had much in common, searching for their origins and sharing their adoption experience. Pat was a devout Roman Catholic and attended church faithfully her whole life. Her faith in Jesus Christ was the centerpiece of her life.

Pat is survived by her eight children, 28 grandchildren, 48 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Victor; brothers, Edward, Ernest, and David; and sister, Wilhelmina.

Obituary and Guest Book available online at:


Funeral Home

Williams Dingmann Funeral Homes
8596 Main Avenue Clear Lake, MN 55319
(320) 251-1454

Published in the St. Cloud Times on Oct. 2, 2012