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OBIT: Kenneth “Kenny” J. Thilges

Kenny died Saturday, February 11, 2023, at the Algona Manor Care Center. He was 87.

A funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Divine Mercy Parish – St. Cecelia Catholic Church with Father John Thomas and Deacon David Penton officiating. Burial will be held in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2023, at Oakcrest Funeral Services, Algona.

Kenneth Joseph Thilges was born December 30, 1935, in Algona, the son of Arthur and Agnes (Besch) Thilges. He grew up in Algona and graduated from St. Cecelia Academy in 1954. After graduation, he worked at Algona Produce and farmed for John Dreesman. In 1958, he answered the call and enlisted in the United States Army National Guard.

On April 8, 1961, Kenny was united in marriage to Darlene Seiler in St. Benedict, Iowa. He was eventually deployed took his bride to live in Olympia, Washington. While there, they welcomed their first daughter. They eventually moved back to Algona, joined St. Cecelia Catholic Church, had three more children, and in April of 1964, Kenny was honorably discharged from the Army National Guard.

Kenny continued farming and started his own lawn mowing and snow removal business. He logged countless hours over the years on his garden tractor and in the field. This was probably due to his love of the outdoors and the enjoyment of helping others. Even with his failing health, you could still find him in the truck overseeing his workers. Keeping him in the truck and off the equipment was another full time job.

Kenny found great joy in his family, relaxing at the campground, and watching NASCAR. When he wasn’t working, you could find him in his sunroom or in the back garage tinkering with a new tractor or swapping out mowing gear for snow blowing gear. Kenny enjoyed keeping up with the latest news. He did this by visiting with local farmers and the friendly employees of local businesses.

Kenny died Saturday, February 11, 2023, at the Algona Manor Care Center. He was 87.

Survivors include his wife, Darlene of Algona; children, Kendra Thilges of Spirit Lake, Kraig (Kathy) Thilges of Algona, Doug (significant other, Jackie Hovinga) Thilges of Algona; grandchildren, Ryan (Karen) Davis of Mankato, Eric Thilges of Fort Dodge, Kaylee (fiancé, Logan Gast) Hockett of Sheffield, Brandee (fiancé, Kyle Pratt) Hockett of Spencer, Josh (fiancé, Gabby Fritz) of Waukee, and Spencer (significant other, Jordan Smith) of Algona; great-grandchildren, Olive, Laiyla, Kholson, Raelyn, and Levi; God-children, Kris Fairbanks, Renetta Seiler, and Patrick Thilges. Also surviving are siblings, Theresa Thilges of Algona, Marvin Thilges of Algona, Donna Boyd of Fredericksburg, Jeanette Thilges of Maynard; sister-in-law, Donna Thilges of Waukee, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Karla in 2006; brothers, Gerald (Becky) Thilges, Maurice Thilges, Dale Thilges; sister-in-law, Mary Jane Thilges; and brother-in-law, Lou Boyd.

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