King Edmund Thoelke was born on April 23, 1919 to John and Esther (King) Thoelke in White, SD. He lived and was raised in White as he attended White Elementary School and graduated from White High School. King was baptized and confirmed in the United Methodist Church in White. He attended Sioux Falls College for one year before being called back to White to help his father in the family business at The Farmers Store. In 1942, King married Margery Humphrey. He and Margery were the happy parents of two boys, Frederick King and Dennis Humphrey Thoelke.
King was called to the US Army OCS training in 1942. He served in World War II in the 106th Reconnaissance Calvary Battalion, 6th army, under General Patton and entered the European theatre, landing at Normandy on D+15. He ended his tour of duty as Captain in the Cavalry Division that was instrumental in freeing King Leopold in Austria in January 1946. He received a silver star, purple heart with an oak cluster, six bronze stars and many other medals of commendation for his time in service.
He also served in the Korean theatre in the 91st Armored Division from January 10, 1950 to April 1953. King was a 69 ˝ year member of the American Legion in White, SD and often returned there for Memorial Day services with his family. He was also the president of the White School Board. From childhood on, King continued his love of hunting, fishing, golfing, and stamp collecting. He learned the art of carving later in life and made geese and ducks for his family members during those years. He loved the store business in White and Cavalier, ND and the people he served. There are many stories of he and his family helping others during the difficult post-war years.
King’s wife Margery died in 1954. He later married a childhood sweetheart, Viola Anderson, in October 1960. Vi’s son Curtis joined the family, and King and Vi became parents once again with the birth of their daughter, Lori Lynn. They moved to Cavalier, ND in 1963, where he owned and operated Thoelke’s Department Store and Kings Shoe Castle from 1963 to 1989. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Cavalier, past member of the Cavalier Business Association, retired member of the Board of Directors of 1st State Bank, a member of the Cavalier American Legion, past member of the Cavalier Country Club, the Cavalier Improvement Corporation, and a member of the National Travelers Association. He traveled to nearly every state in the United States, every province in Canada but one, and many other countries, while on tours with Vi during their retirement years. He and his sister, Gloria, and brother, Bryce, returned to Europe to travel the countries he and Bryce helped liberate during World War II.
Survivors include his wife, Viola: stepson, Curtis: son, Frederick(Mary) Thoelke and their children, Nathan Thoelke and Adam (Laura) Thoelke; daughter, Lori Fernandez Thoelke and her children: Gideon Fernandez, Brianna Fernandez and her daughter, Lilleigh ; daughter-in-law: Betty and Dr. Geoffrey Johnson and their children, Jennifer Thoelke-Johnson and Troy Olson and their sons, Jonah and Gavin; Dr. Anne and Dr. Chris Harris and children, Jay, Katie, and Ty; Dr. Paul and Molly Johnson; brother: Bryce (Marge) Thoelke and their children, Kent (Deb) Thoelke, and children, April and her daughter, Eliana; Jennifer (Jarod) Bartelt, and their children, Austin, Elyssa, and Evan; Christine and her daughters, Alexa, Dayna, and Syndey; Stacey (Brian) Lachermeier and their son; Lisa (Juan) Toro and their son, Bryce and daughter, Taylor; Dustin (Jennifer) Mikkelson and daughter, Kyleigh; Greg (Terry) Thoelke; Pamela (Randall) Muth; King’s sisters family: Tony Abrahamson Ness and daughter, Stacie Ness; Lyndi (Kevin) Thom; John (Donna) Abrahamson and their children: Jarl, Whitley (Kyle) Begger .
He is preceded in death by his grandparents: Diedrich and Marie Thoelke and August and Pauline Koenig King ; parents John and Esther (King) Thoelke; his wife Margery (Humphrey) Thoelke; son Dennis Humphrey Thoelke; sister Gloria ; brother -in- law Allen Abrahamson.
King was our beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, brother-in-law, father-in-law, co-worker, friend, and American patriot. May he rest in peace.
King E. Thoelke, age 94, died on September 7, 2013 at home in the loving care of his family.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church, Cavalier, N.D. Visitation will be held Thursday, Sept. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service at the Askew Funeral Home, Cavalier, N.D. Burial will be held in the Fairview Cemetery with Military Honors, White, on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at 1 p.m.
“He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good purpose in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” Eph 1:9
Online guestbook at www.askewfuneralhome.com.
Editors’s note: This is a paid obituary that is being run as it was submitted.