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Oliver Tjossem

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Colonel Oliver Paul Tjossem


Colonel (retired) Oliver Paul Tjossem passed on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, at St. Catherine's Village in Madison, Mississippi. He was born June 3, 1917 at Paullina, Iowa, the only child of the late Kinney and Emily Turner Tjossem. At the age of 10 years the family moved to Sibley, Iowa. He grew up in Sibley and graduated from Sibley High School with the class of 1936.

Following graduation he worked in the retail oil business until the fall of 1941 when he entered the United States Army. He attended Officer's Candidate School and in 1942 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He was in the European Theater from 1944 through 1945 and participated in five major campaigns from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge. His thirty years of active duty resulted in numerous decorations for duty and valor in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. In addition to medals for valor from our government, two foreign governments also awarded him medals for valor - the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam. He retired from the military with the rank of Colonel.

He was a resident of Jackson, Mississippi, a member of the Methodist Church, 32nd Degree Mason, member of Eastern Star, The Retired Officer's Association, and past president of the North Jackson Kiwanis Club. He was a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska.

He married Ruth Louise Trusty on December 13, 1941 and they had three children.

Their son, William Paul Tjossem and granddaughter, Allison Leigh Kirkpatrick preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, and two daughters, Marcy Wilkinson and her husband Charles L. Wilkinson, III of Grovetown, Georgia, and Susan Merrill and her husband Robert K. Merrill of Madison, Mississippi. He has four grandchildren, Elizabeth Harley and her husband Michael of Evans, Georgia, William Paul Kirkpatrick and his wife Sylvia of Leesburg, Virginia, Melissa Stewart and her husband Duane of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Catherine Wilkinson of Grovetown, Georgia, eight great grandchildren, his nephew James Stachour and wife Phyllis of Clinton, Iowa and niece Judy Braucht of Madison, Wisconsin.

Wright and Ferguson in Ridgeland is handling the local arrangements and no visitation will occur. Services and internment will take place in Sibley, Iowa with graveside military services in Holman Township Cemetery. Jurrens Funeral Home in Sibley, Iowa will handle the arrangements. In lieu of flowers the family has requested contributions be made to .


Published in Clarion Ledger from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26, 2013
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