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Lelan Roy Thieszen – Metz Mortuary

    Lelan Roy Thieszen
    Lelan Roy Thieszen was born on September 5, 1937, to Aaron E. and Helen (Epp) Thieszen on a farm in York County, Nebraska, the third of eight children. He passed away on January 27, 2023, at Legacy Square in Henderson.

    Lelan loved the outdoors and nature. He always appreciated the beautiful world God created and often said so. He enjoyed working on the family farm as a young man and he liked working with the animals. Even milking the cow before going to school.

    Lelan attended country school through the eighth grade, went to a year of Bible school, and graduated from Henderson High School in 1956. He was baptized by Reverend Arnold Nickel in 1955. He remained a faithful member of Bethesda Mennonite Church until his death.

    He attended Bethel College for two and a half years. He then transferred to Nebraska Wesleyan University, graduating with a B.A. in Business Administration and Economics in the fall of 1960.

    One summer during college, his job was following the wheat harvest. He decided to write to a girl back home to see if she would write back. She did. And on September 4, 1960, he was united in marriage to Marlene Friesen. They were married by her grandfather, Reverend A.W. Friesen. As they were both still in college, they started their life together living in Lincoln, Nebraska.

    Just prior to their wedding, Lelan received his draft notice. In order to finish college before reporting for duty, he signed up for a six-year stint in the Army Reserves, from 1960-1966.

    In the fall of 1961, having just finished basic training and active duty, he started his career by selling life insurance. When asked if he had ever thought he would be a salesman, the answer was an emphatic no. In the fall of 1962, he bought an insurance agency in Henderson. He and Marlene moved to Henderson where their three children were born, Connie Lynne, Janet Christine, and David Roy.

    His love for animals and the farm never left him. He loved riding with the children and being a leader of the 4-H horse club. Putting the grandchildren in front of him on the saddle as soon as it was possible was always his goal.

    In 1975, he moved his insurance agency, Thieszen Insurance and Real Estate into Henderson State Bank. The remainder of his career was spent selling insurance and as a loan officer. He retired from Henderson State Bank in 2006, after 44 years on Main Street.

    Lelan always had a heart for giving and helping others. He was the treasurer of the Nebraska MCC Sale for many years and the water project had a special place in his heart.

    Lelan spent his retirement outdoors as much as possible. He loved taking care of the yard. If Marlene had an idea for the landscape, he was ready to make it happen. Riding his horse gave him great joy. He and Connie spent many hours riding together. Being a social person, he enjoyed playing golf with his brother Jim and his friends. And of course, it was a great rivalry. Coffee time with friends was an anticipated part of the day.

    As prostate cancer continued to grow in his body, his life slowed. He spent hours sitting on the patio enjoying God and His great world. He often said how fortunate we were to live where we did. As his health deteriorated, it became necessary for him to move to Legacy Square in Henderson. He was contented, and appreciative of the care he was given. The family thanks the caregivers and Legacy Square for their quality care and many acts of kindness extended to Lelan during this time. The family also appreciates the prayers and comfort you extended to us during his illness and his death.

    He is survived by his wife, Marlene, son David and Shelby Thieszen of Kearney, NE, daughters Connie and Bryan Bechtel, of Henderson, NE, and Janet and Perry Schnacker of Shawnee, KS. Grandchildren Logan Bechtel and special friend Hillary Lee, Abigail Bechtel, Adam Schnacker and fiancé Melody Willemsen, Colin Thieszen, Ellen Schnacker, Daniel Schnacker, and Taryn Thieszen. His brother Glendon and Rita Thieszen of Paynesville, MN, sister Lela and Calvin Regier of Henderson, sisters-in-law Barbara Dietrich of Aurora, NE, Carol Thieszen of Lincoln, NE, Carolyn Friesen of Olathe, KS, Mary and Kermit Buller of Henderson, and brother-in-law Royce and Candice Friesen of Andover, KS, nieces and nephews, and may cousins.

    Preceding him in death were his parents, parents-in-law Dr. Harold and Elda Friesen, sisters Nina and Lyle Smith, Marcella and Wilber Martens, brothers Dean Thieszen, Erland and Glenda Thieszen, James Thieszen, brother-in-law H. Allyn Friesen, and sisters-in-law Frances Thieszen and Ruth Ann Thieszen.

    Graveside services will be held at 9:45 a.m., Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at Bethesda Mennonite Cemetery at Henderson, followed by the Memorial services at 10:30 a.m., at Bethesda Mennonite Church at Henderson. The service can be viewed by going to​Visitation will be from 1-9 p.m., on Monday, January 30th, at the mortuary in Henderson, with the family greeting friends from 7-8:30 p.m. that evening. Memorials may be directed to Nebraska MCC Relief Sale. 

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