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Pastor Alfred Theim

June 23, 1925-Aug. 26, 2010

Alfred E. Thiem, beloved husband, father, grandfather and pastor: With great sorrow but with joy in the certain hope of the resurrection and eternal life in Christ Jesus, the family of Rev. Alfred Thiem announces his death on Thursday, August 26, 2010.

Alfred Thiem was born in Kendallville, Ind., on June 23, 1925. He was the oldest living child of Emil and Anna (Pietz) Thiem.

He became a child of God through Holy Baptism on July 5, 1925. He was baptized and confirmed by Dr. M.F. Kretzman at St. John's Lutheran Church and attended eight years of grade school in Kendallville.

Alfred attended high school and two years of Junior College at Fort Wayne, Ind. He continued his pastoral training at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., during which time he vicared one year at Waconia, Minn., for District President Heine.

Before leaving for his vicarage, he became engaged to Betty Lepper.

He graduated from the seminary in June 1949 with a Master of Divinity Degree.

Al and Betty were united in marriage on June 25, 1949 in Fort Wayne, Ind., at Zion Lutheran Church. The following August the 7th, he was ordained into the office of Holy Ministry at Inkster, N.D., his first call.

He served that congregation for two years, and then parishes at Grafton (Zion) and Anamoose (St. Martin) and Drake (Immanuel) Parish. While at Grafton he assisted in the establishment of a full-time ministry at the Grafton State School.

In 1959 he accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Fargo, where he served for 32 years during which time he assisted in establishing new ministries at St. Andrew in West Fargo and Beautiful Savior in Fargo. He also served Hillsboro and Grandin as a vacancy pastor many times.

In addition, he served in the North Dakota District of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod as secretary, and as pastoral advisor for the International LLL for two terms. He was on the Nominating Committee of Synod for four conventions and on the Board of Directors of Concordia Publishing House for 12 years.

He was a member of the Inquiry Committee East of the North Dakota State Bar Association for two terms.

Twelve seminary students spent their vicarage years under Pastor Thiem's spiritual guidance from 1959-71.

After retirement, he served as the Missouri Synod Chaplain for the Fargo area hospitals (a work close to his heart) for 16 years.

To God be the Glory!

Surviving Al are his wife Betty; seven children, 17 grandchildren and two great grandchildren: Rebecca (Glenn) Thiem, Nancy and Lucas; Deborah (Donald) Bickle, Katharine and Ross; Karen (Michael) Stirling, Jonathan and Laura; Joel (Tami) Thiem, Benjamin, Aimee, Amelia and Matthew; Kristine Meyer, Jessica (Tracy) Lura (Chase and Hudson) Hanna, Emma and Rebecca; Lisa (Jay) Kleingartner, Alexa; Sara (Kris) Nelson, Lauren and Grant; as well as his sister, Ilene (Stan) Kuhl; and brother, Arthur (Evelyn) Thiem.

Preceding Al in death were his parents, Emil and Anna; infant son, Mark Alfred; and grandson Joshua Thiem.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo, with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Burial will also be Monday at Riverside Cemetery, Fargo.

The family requests that any memorial be provided directly to Immanuel Lutheran Church Building Fund or MeritCare Sanford Health Foundation.

The family of Pastor Thiem wishes to thank the staff at Sanford Health Care in Cardiac, Neurology and Palliative Care for the outstanding loving care he received.

Please feel free to sign the online guestbook at