John O. Thiel

REED CITY — John Otis Thiel, 86, of Reed City, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.

He was born on March 7, 1928, in Muskegon, the son of Otis and Eva (Clark) Thiel. John graduated from Reed City High School in 1947. After high school, he worked at the Wolverine Glove Factory in Reed City for 10 years where he met the love of his life. He married Marilyn Bingaman in October 1951, in Evart. He started his own business – the OK Tire Store in Big Rapids – which he managed for 39 years.

John and Marilyn built their home and raised their family in Reed City.

John was a member of the United Methodist Church, where he served on committees, was a member of the choir and taught Sunday School for many years. He enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard and retired as captain after 23 years. John was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Baldwin for several years. He enjoyed fishing, camping, woodworking and crocheting. He loved making wooden toys and furniture for his family and to crochet doilies to give to family, friends, the ladies of the church and his favorite waitresses.

John is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of 62 years; his five children, Mike (Nancy) Thiel, Mark Thiel, Scott (Sandi) Thiel, Cindy (Russell) Koepnick, and Steve (Lisa) Thiel; nine grandchildren, Sarah, Aaron, Amanda, Shelbi, Spencer, Jill, Bryan, Dylan and Trevor; eight great-grandchildren, Kaden, Ava, Carter, Aidan, Braxton, Camden, Bella and Boone; and his sister, Gertie (Gerry) Pontz.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Otis and Eva; and his sister, Ida.

The family will greet friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, May 26, 2014, at McDowell Funeral Home, and also from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at the Reed City United Methodist Church, with the service beginning at 11 a.m., and with the Rev. Kathryn Cadarette officiating.

Memorial contributions in John’s name may be made to the United Methodist Church of Reed City or to the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center in Reed City.

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