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Donald E. Theleen

1933 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Donald E. Theleen Obituary
Donald E. Theleen

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Donald E. Theleen, a longtime Wilmington resident, currently of Pompton Plains, NJ, died on Friday, February 26, 2016, with Joan, his beloved wife of 61 years, and family by his side.

Don was born on June 10, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois, son of Bert and Dola Theleen. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. In 1955, Don and Joan, who met at Fenger High School in Chicago, married.

In Chicago, Don began what would become a long and distinguished career in life and accident and health insurance claims. In 1961, Don and Joan and their children moved to Pittsburgh, PA, at which time Don joined the Catholic Knights of St. George as a claims executive. In 1970, Don joined the American International Group Insurance Company ("AIG") as a U.S. and international claims executive. In 1976, Don and Joan and their children moved to Wilmington, DE, where he continued to work for AIG, and in which his claims responsibilities led him to travel world-wide. Don continued with AIG in Wilmington as Vice President until his retirement in 2003. Thereafter, Don served on the ERISA claims committee for AIG in which he provided his considerable claims expertise and guidance on complex claims and litigation matters until 2015.

Don was active in various local community service clubs for many years. Don loved sports and actively played golf, racquet ball and hand ball for many years. He also enjoyed duck hunting and fishing. Baseball was Don's first love, rooting for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, and with football not that far behind with the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles. Don enjoyed watching sporting events in person and attended countless games and matches, including baseball (Philadelphia Phillies season ticket holder), football (Pittsburgh Steelers season ticket holder), basketball, hockey, major golf tournaments and boxing contests. One memorable moment in particular was Don's attendance and witness to one of the greatest plays in NFL history- the "Immaculate Reception" catch in a Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game in 1972.

Don constantly read books, with a keen interest in history. After his retirement from AIG, Don continued to want to learn and enrich himself by attending many college classes and seminars at the University of Delaware that covered a wide range of history, economics and political science. Don enjoyed reading several different newspapers daily. Don was fully engaged in all economic, social and political subject matters involving the U.S., and always available for an entertaining and spirited conversation.

Don's family always knew that his work and other interests and activities took a back seat to his love and commitment to his wife, children and grandchildren. Don took great interest and provided loving guidance to his children and grandchildren. Don loved to hear about and watch them perform and participate in their activities and make contributions to their communities.

In addition to his wife, Joan, Don leaves four children, Susan of Haverford, PA; Ronald and his wife, Kim, of Southbury, CT, and their four children, Daniel and his wife Jaclyn of Woodbury, CT, Steven of Pittsburgh, PA, and Jeanne and Kim, of Southbury, CT; Robert and his partner, Raul Lingan, of Manhasset, New York; and Karen and her husband, Joseph Wood, and their two children, Trevor and Connor, of Livingston, NJ. Don also leaves his brother, Robert and his wife, Jenny and daughter Kristina, of Shanghai, China.

A family mass is planned for March 3, 2016 at 1:15 p.m. at St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church in Livingston, NJ. Memorial contributions may be made to the ministries of Father John Hynes c/o St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 2503 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE 19808.
Published in The News Journal on Mar. 2, 2016
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