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Col. Jerry Michael (Ret. Us Army) Thiels

Col. Jerry Michael Thiels (Ret. US ARMY)

A Mass of Christian Burial for Col. Jerry Michael Thiels will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, June 21, 2013 at St. Rita Catholic Church with Rev. Bruce Miller officiating. Interment will follow with full military honors in Alexandria Memorial Gardens, Woodworth, under the direction of John Kramer & Son.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20, 2013 and from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 21, 2013 at John Kramer & Son. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the chapel of John Kramer & Son with Rev. Steve Brandow officiating.

Col. Jerry Michael Thiels, age 72, of Pineville, passed away Monday June 17, 2013 at the Alexandria Veterans Administration Medical Center.

He is preceded in death by the mother of his children, Ruthie Ann Thiels; parents, Lawrence and Eva Dunn Thiels; nephew, Michael Dewayne Thiels; infant nephew, James Malcolm Thiels; niece, Lorette Thiels; and nephew, Arick Thiels.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Lynn Ducote Thiels; children, Todd M. Thiels and fiance' Donna of Turkey Creek, Tim Thiels (Tamara) of Brandon, MS, Rebecca Dunn (Bobby) of Van Buren, AR; Wendy Moreau (David) of Pineville, Misty Bishop (Joe) of Pineville; six siblings, Larry R. Thiels (Ann) of Walker, Rita O'Quinn (Danny) of Lecompte, Nita Poole (John) of Zachary, Ginger Thiels of Zachary, Tommy Thiels (Becky) of Monroe, and Fran Swain (Gary) of Elmer; 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Jerry Michael Thiels was born on November 11, 1940 in Alexandria to Lawrence and Eva Thiels. He was the second of seven children. He attended Our Lady of Prompt Succor Elementary School and graduated from Menard Memorial High School in 1958. He went on to graduate from Northwestern State College in 1962. While at Northwestern, he was selected as one of the Top Ten Young Men in America under President Lyndon B. Johnson. After graduation, he joined the United States Army as an Aviation Officer flying combat missions in Huey and Cobra helicopters. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was stationed in Seoul, South Korea as well as Ft. Hood and Ft. Polk. During his tour in Vietnam, his aircraft were hit over two thousand times and he was shot down nine times. While serving his country, he earned the National Defense Service Medal, Army Aviator Badge, Air Medal (60th Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross (2OLC), Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Valorous Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), Air Medal with V Device, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm (2d Award).

After retiring in 1985, he served as Executive Director of Esler Air Field for fifteen years. He owned and operated Windswept Cattle Ranch in Lecompte, LA, where he raised Belgian Blue cattle. He was an active member of the Cattlemen's Association and the Border Collie Association, and President of the Louisiana Belgian American Club.

Pallbearers honored to serve at Mass are: Tommy Thiels, John Poole, Bobby Dunn, Jason Thiels, Jeremy Thiels, and Joey Thiels.

Honorary Pallbearers are Danny O'Quinn, Ray Bailey, and Maj. Gen. Dennis Kenneally.

Special Thanks to the doctors and staff of the VA Medical Center Alzheimer's Unit as well as Doctor Erlinda Tan and her staff at the Palliative Care Unit. Jerry's family appreciates the dedication and care given to him and the many Veterans they serve.

Memorials may be made to the Louisiana , 910 Pierremont Road, Ste. 410, Shreveport, LA 71106, (318) 861-8680.

Notes of condolence may be sent to the family online at KramerFunerals@aol.com.

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Published in The Town Talk on June 19, 2013
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