John F. ‘Jack’
John F. “Jack” Theis Sr., 89, of Rollingstone, died Thursday, July 11, 2013, at Madonna Towers in Rochester.
Jack was born on December 20, 1923, in Winona, Minnesota to Frank and Olga (Kozlowski) Theis. He graduated from Cotter High School.
In February 1943, he enlisted in the US Army and served with Company C, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division. Company C landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France as part of the initial invasion force on D-Day. During his service in Europe, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Distinguished Unit Badge, and other Theater of Operations service medals.
On May 26, 1946, he married Mariane Volk in Hokah, Minnesota. They lived in the Winona area and later settled nearby in Rollingstone. He was a member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and the St. Nicolas Society. He was active as a Boy Scout leader, a lifetime member of the Winona VFW Post 1287 and served as a Quartermaster for the VFW Post for 20 years. Jack worked for 30 years for the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier in Winona. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, and watching the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He also enjoyed socializing with friends and family.
Earlier this year, he was named Knight of the Legion of Honor by the President of France for his action on French soil in World War II. The Legion of Honor medal was presented in a ceremony at the VFW Post in Winona. In recent years, Jack was honored to be chosen to take part in the flag raising ceremony at a Minnesota Twins game and also thoroughly enjoyed being able to take part in an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. to visit various war memorials.
Jack will be most remembered for his strength in adversity throughout his life, his sense of humor, and his positive attitude. Most of all, those who knew him will remember his kind soul and gentle heart.
Preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mariane; three daughters, Theresa, Lori, and Julie; son, Paul Theis; granddaughter, Maria; sister, Mary Lynch; and brother, Bill Theis. Jack is survived by three sons, Tom (Ann) of Rochester, John F. Jr. (Lan), of Prior Lake; and Rick (Lynn) of Janesville, WI; 8 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren with one on the way; two sisters, Doloris of Mondovi and Rosemarie of Milwaukee.
Funeral Mass will be at 10am on Monday, July 15, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Reverend William Kulas will officiate.
Burial will follow in the Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Winona VFW Post 1287.
Please share a memory of Jack with his family, sign the online guestbook, and view his video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com.