|Birth: ||Mar. 29, 1918|
|Death: ||Mar. 11, 2006|
Joe was my step-grandpa, but he was the only grandpa I knew on my mom's side. The saying Blood is thicker than water didn't mean anything to him! All of his children and grandkids were treated the same. He was one of the most loving and caring people I've ever known. He was always smiling and loved having all of us over for Christmas Eve every year. I miss him dearly and always smile when I think about him.
From the Woodstock Independent, Wed. March 29, 2006:
JOE THIEDE, LONGTIME VFW MEMBER, WILL BE MISSED
By: Don Peasley
I vividly recall my last two visits with Joe Thiede. I received a call from his wife, Marge, saying, "Joe wants you to visit him at the hospital." This was in early February, and, as I opened the door to Joe's room, he glanced in my direction, flashed a warm smile, reached out his hand and said, "I'm glad to see you. I have something I want you to do."
We visited, and it was typical of Joe, who was thinking about the kindness shown him and other veterans by Howard Engstrom, current VFW chaplain. Joe was in good spirits though frustrated that he needed to be hospitalized frequently for blood transfusions.
Joe's death March 11 triggered memories of my last visits at the hospital with the popular, longtime VFW manager, chef and elected official.
Joe's thoughts turned to the start of the VFW as he ventured, "I hope I'll be up and around so I can make the 60th anniversary dinner at the end of April." That quickly triggered his memories of the early years when he was a leader in acquiring a Post home soon after the VFW was chartered March 4, 1946.
Joe became the first club manager. This is the position he subsequently occupied for more than 25 years. Joe's steady managerial skills and thorough knowledge of how the VFW can serve veterans made him the main pillar of the organization's success over six decades.
He was in the forefront of each of those decades. He served as commander in 1954, and, typical of his willingness to come forward, he agreed to serve as commander again in 1974. From 1980 through 1997, he served as the elected quartermaster, a responsible position, while serving as the building manager, chef and member of the board of directors.
His love for baseball -- he was an ardent White Sox fan -- made him the ideal VFW representative when the Little League was organized in 1954. Joe then became the leader when the VFW established a ream for 13- and 14-year-olds and the National VFW's Teener League program.
During my hospital visit, Joe reached into his memory, recalling with satisfaction the aggressive way returning World War II veterans pooled their energy to make a success of the new service organization.
"We sponsored the Fourth of July Festival at city park. We handled concessions and carnivals at the county fair. We donated flags and flagpoles to schools. We established citizenship awards to local high schools and continued that award each year since 1947," he said.
Joe said one of the VFW's most significant undertakings was to help establish the county housing authority because, he explained, "We faced a severe shortage of housing for veterans, and it was up to us to demand governmental help in this regard."
Joe smiled with satisfaction as he pointed out, "From the beginning, the VFW and Auxiliary were generous in donations to charitable causes. After building the addition to the old house on Throop Street, the VFW donated the front part of the building as a home for the Easter Seal Therapy Center."
Then he added, "Supporting communnity projects is an ongoing policy. We also collect money through Poppy Days to help hospitalized veterans at North Chicago."
I complimented Joe for his skill in management by stepping forward, but he turned that aside with the comment, "When I asked, people rallied. I couldn't do it myself. Members did help. I knew I could count on them."
I'll remember Joe for his almost always even disposition and his delight in being able to be accommodating. Joe and Marge Thiede were indispensable sources regarding individual members, happenings of the past and projects planned for the future throughout my half-century of producing the monthly Woodstock VFW News. Joe was a reliable, accurate source and always accommodating.
The Woodstock VFW members honored Joe and Marge Thiede in 2004 by hanging a large photograph of the couple and naming the upstairs meeting hall in their honor. VFW members now have a reminder of this couple's contribution to servicing veterans each time they attend a function at the VFW.
Otto B Thiede (1892 - 1985)
Anna Welch Thiede (1897 - 1926)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: Suze
Record added: Mar 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34962698