March 7, 2014


Jean Marie Thelen, 81, of Carroll, passed away on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at her home surrounded by her family.

Mass of the Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 10, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Carroll with Father Timothy Johnson as celebrant and Father Peter Nguyen as concelebrant.

Music for the Mass will be by Marcy Andersen as organist and Sherry Loughran as cantor. Lector will be Carmen Ludwig. Gift bearers will be Jean's great-grandchildren Clara Neary, Sam Neary, Gus Neary, Jack Neary, Molly Neary, Caleb Monahan, Cooper Thelen and Cyler Thelen. Mass servers will be Austin Venteicher, Emily Bowden and Sarah Steffes.

Casket bearers will be Jean's grandsons Bryan Neary, Brandon Neary, Conor Neary, Nathan Thelen, Jordan Thelen, Wes Thelen, Matt Thelen and Craig Phillips. Honorary casket bearers will be Jean's granddaughters Alena Thelen, Leigh Neary, Emerson Thelen, Carson Thelen, Sydney Thelen, Melinda Thelen and Natasha Thelen. The St. Anthony Hospital Auxiliary will form an honor guard at the church. Burial will be at St. Bernard Cemetery near Breda.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Friends may call after 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll where there will be a rosary at 4 p.m. and a Christian wake service at 6 p.m. by Holy Spirit Parish. The casket will be moved to the church at 8:30 a.m. Monday when visitation will resume.

Born Feb. 4, 1933 at Breda, Iowa, she was a daughter of Charles and Mary Ann (Goecke) Schelle. Jean grew up in Breda and graduated from St. Bernard Catholic School 1950. She was married to Lenus Thelen on July 2, 1951, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breda with Father J.P. Hausman as celebrant. The Thelens have lived in Carroll since 1961. Jean worked at the J.C. Penney Store in Carroll for 20 years. In her spare time she enjoyed attending water aerobics at the Rec Center, quilting, sewing, crafting and spending time with her family. Jean was well-known for making doll clothes for area children and for her many collections especially Little Golden Books. She was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Carroll, the Ladies Guild of the Church, and St. Anthony Hospital Auxiliary.

Surviving are two daughters: Shirley Neary and her husband Dan of Omaha, Neb., and Karen Phillips and her husband Jim of Carroll; four sons: Ed Thelen and his wife Linda of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Marty Thelen and his wife Sue of Carroll, Rob Thelen of Carroll, and Tony Thelen and his wife Sheila of Des Moines; 14 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters: Nyle Schelle and his wife Mary of Glidden, Lois Roets of Des Moines, Ron Schelle and his wife Pat of North Carolina; and two sisters-in-law: Mildred and Rosella Schelle of Carroll.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Lenus "Leny" in 2012; three brothers: Merlin, Wayne and Wilmer "Bill" Schelle; a sister Norma Kennebeck; a sister-in-law Marita Schelle; and brothers-in-law Fred Kennebeck and Phil Roets.