MONTHLY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
September 2023 Member Spotlight
Jeffrey Thielen, this month’s membership spotlight, is a 3rd generation funeral director. Thus, it is quite
ironic that Jeff growing up was not interested in a funeral director career. This was attributed, in part,
to noticing that due to their careers his father, Mark, and grandfather, Les, missed out on a lot of family
life events because of death calls, visitation, or funeral services. Jeff knew at an early age he wanted a family and after experiencing it firsthand, wanted to be available for family occasions.
Therefore, when Jeff went to college in Green Bay, he pursued different interests and graduated with
a Business Administration degree. Having played on the golf team at UW-Green Bay, Jeff didn’t have a lot of time to look for a job before graduating, so after graduation, he moved back home until he could find something. His father, Mark, had a funeral director who recently underwent his second back surgery. Jeff, being recently graduated, unemployed and living at home for a bit, was a natural choice for Mark to ask to assist him during this time. About 3-4 weeks after working with his father and learning more about funeral service, Jeff realized he found this career rewarding by being able to help people through the worst times of their lives. He had enough experience and credits that he easily became an apprentice, and the rest is history! Mark graciously offered to work any unconventional hours if Jeff was needed at family events. Nowadays, Jeff is content with his career choice, enjoys helping others, and has owned funeral homes in both Wisconsin and Michigan. Currently he works at and owns Thielen Funeral Home and Crematory in Marinette, the same location his grandfather and father owned.
Jeff’s family has a rich history with WFDA since both Les and Mark were past WFDA presidents, in 1951 and 1992 respectively. As the current Northeastern District Representative to the board, on and off since
1998, Jeff finds the most valuable WFDA resources to be the continuing education availability, as well
as the Association Health Plan, and being able to connect with fellow funeral directors. Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, golfing, and, woodworking.