Jacob Donald Thiessen, born May 5, 1934, died in his sleep on July 23, 2019. JD as he was commonly known in Tahlequah, was born South of Haskett, MB, Canada, to Jacob Thiessen and Maria Zacharias Thiessen, the first of their nine surviving children.
Funeral Services will be held at Hart Funeral Home, 1506 N. Grand Ave., Tahlequah, OK 74464, at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 26, 2019, with internment to follow at Tahlequah City Cemetery.
The first 30 years of his life were spent on a farm in Manitoba, Canada. At around age 30, he left the farm and went to Belize with the Mennonite Central Committee for two years. He was then recruited by West Indies Mission, later known as World Team, a non-denominational mission, to manage their dairy farm in Lancaster County, PA. There, he met love of his life, Maye who was a missionary to Haiti. October 11, 1969, they married, and after some time in North America, returned to Haiti. Dad used his mechanical skills in running a large garage that repaired the mission vehicles and those of the Haitians associated with the mission. He was also in charge of maintaining the mission compound including an orphanage, medical clinic, radio station, and Bible college as well as a missionary children’s school, water and electrical systems, and administrative buildings. JD assisted in building a hospital in the mountains of South Haiti along with many other projects in addition to maintaining infrastructure and training Haitians to be mechanics.
In August of 1982, JD and Maye moved to Tahlequah and dad started work at Go Ye Village, where he worked until 2007. He considered his new mission to be service to those who had served before. Tahlequah truly became his home and he was blessed with many friends, neighbors, and church family here in Tahlequah. He could fix almost anything and was a talented woodworker. (JD's Christian faith was centrally important to him and formed his words and actions throughout his life.)
JD is survived by his loving wife of 49 years Maye, son James Thiessen and his wife Jennifer, grandchildren Audrey, Franklin, Alyssa, and Samantha. He is also survived by his siblings: Cathy Epp, Anne Toews, Susan, Ernie (Margaret), Hank (Sally), David (Audrey) and Edward (Liz). He was also blessed with numerous nephews and nieces.
The family would like to thank Cherokee County Nursing Center and Compassus Hospice for their outstanding service to JD. Finally, a tremendous thanks to all of the family friends, you know who you are!