Edna G. Thiese

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Edna Grace Thiese, 101, passed away June 23, 2018 at Elkader Care Center, due to natural causes. 

Funeral services were Wednesday, June 27, at Kingdom Hall, Elkader. Visitation was before services.

Interment was at Hillcrest Cemetery, Volga.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader assisted the family.

Edna was born March 18, 1917, near Independence, the middle one of three daughters, to Clarence and Lela Zimpfer. During her childhood, she moved to Oelwein, Volga, Garber, and Elkader with her parents, wherever her father could find employment helping with farming.

Edna attended and graduated from the Elkader School. She attended Junior College in Elkader after winning a one-year scholarship. She earned her teaching certificate after completing two years at Junior College. She found employment teaching in a country school in rural Elkader, near the home of Dorothy and Herman Thiese. She met their son, Oliver, while she was a boarder at the Thiese home. Oliver proved to be a real gentleman in helping Edna load firewood into the schoolhouse’s wood stove on cold winter mornings. He also assisted in repairing books. 

On June 10, 1936, Edna married Oliver John Thiese. Teachers at that time had to be single, so she gave up teaching and joined her husband in working the Thiese family farm. Together they had one son, Oliver Roy Thiese, Jr. Edna lived on the same farm outside of Elkader until the death of her husband in 1985. At that time she purchased a nearby home, which happened to be the remodeled schoolhouse where her son had attended school. 

Edna Thiese was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses on June 29, 1939. She was a very active member in the Elkader Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. In 1999, she took up the full-time ministry in helping others to come to a knowledge of the Bible, and continued this for 11 years.

Edna enjoyed reading, gardening, yard work, caring for her flower garden, and the hummingbirds. Most of all, she enjoyed being with friends and encouraging others. She loved extending hospitality to others, as well as participating in the field ministry.

She is survived by her son, Oliver (Margaret) Thiese; grandchildren, Robin (Danny) Hurst, Michael (Melissa) Thiese, Pauline Leinen, Joel (Elizabeth) Thiese; great-grandchildren, Samuel (Carissa) Hurst, Jacob (Laura) Hurst, Laura (Whitney) Lindholm, Matthew Hurst, Sonya Hurst, Mariah (Lars) Rasmussen, Brittney Leinen, Claire, Joel Jr., Alexis, Ruby, and Clarence Thiese; and great-great-grandchildren: Crystal Lindholm, Alexys Hurst, and Calvin Hurst.

Edna was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her sisters, Geneva Huggins and Bernadine Zimpfer, and a grandchild, Mary Thiese.

Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com.

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