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Whitewater Community Church (formerly the Swiss Church)
Saturday October 24th, 2020

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Funeral Service

Old Emmaus Cemetery
Saturday October 24th, 2020

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Wilferd Ralph Thiessen

Wilferd’s life began on March 27, 1932, the son of Jacob Edgar and Marie (Wiebe) Thiessen in Newton, Kansas. He graduated from Berean Academy in 1950 and went onto graduate from Grace Bible College in Omaha, Nebraska. He married Gladys Evelyn Kracht on June 15, 1954 in Creighton, Nebraska. Wilferd and Gladys ministered all across Latin America from 1964-2010. He also taught at Rio Grande Institute in Texas for 10 years. He was an evangelistic chalk artist and used his talent to share the gospel. He enjoyed riding horses, playing the piano and wood carving.

His loving family includes his wife, Gladys of Whitewater; his sons and their wives, Randy and Connie Thiessen of Whitewater, Gary and Monica Thiessen of Burns, Kansas; daughter and her husband, LaVonna and Dr. Greg Schmid of Phoenix, Arizona; 18 grandchildren, 54 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Henry and Edgar Thiessen and a sister, Martha Thiessen. Wilferd passed away peacefully on Friday, October 16, 2020 at the age of 88 years old.

His family will gather with friends on Friday, October 23, from 5-7 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 24, at 11:00 a.m. both at Whitewater Community Church, 703 E. Central, Whitewater. Graveside services will be Saturday, October 24, at 9:30 a.m. in the Old Emmaus Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Cornerstone Bible Institute in Hot Springs, South Dakota. In care of Lamb Funeral Home, P.O. Box 358, Whitewater, Kansas 67154. In the memo line add: Adam and Chelsey Lair. Please sign his online guest book and leave a memory of Wilferd at www.ymzfh.com


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I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to hear Mr. Thiessen play the piano at Rio Grande Bible Institute. I was able to take some lessons from him and his hymn playing inspires my own and I am able to pass that on to others. Thank you!

Tricia Jeske May 7 2021 12:00 AM

I very much appreciated Wilferd and Gladys and their missionary story times at Glad Tidings Bible Camp. Many special memories of times shared there. My condolences to all the family.

Dawn Girdner Olsen Oct 20 2020 12:00 AM

I have wonderful memories of being an unknown immature kid starting at Berean, and having the opportunity to meet Wilfred. He was one of those students who showed friendship toward me, and helped me become involved in school activities. I was also a piano player, and had a chance to accompany the boys octet and also sing in the school choir under the direction of John Ewert. Along with being a wonderful musician, he was a role model for having a serious relationship with God, and sharing his love to everyone. I am saddened by his passing, but realize that it is not unusual for folks my age to experience loss of friends and acquaintances. I live in McPherson, had a career in teaching music, and thank God for the connection to a wonderful memory. Prayers go with you.

Jim Pauls Oct 19 2020 12:00 AM

I always loved when Wilferd would come to camp to be our evangelist for the week. We got to hear his amazing piano music and see him do thise wonderful chalk drawings. He made camp so special for a lot of us. Thank you.

Leann Haba-Weich Oct 18 2020 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 75 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM