Jo Ann Thelen passed away in the early morning hours of August 1, 2018, surrounded by her family.
She was born on November 21, 1934, to Haydn and LaRue Thomas in Scobey. She moved with her family to Billings in 1945. Jo graduated from Billings Senior High, and was Miss Broncette of 1952. She met her future beloved husband Jim while attending Eastern Montana College; they married shortly after on August 14, 1953. Together, they raised eleven children. Her family was the center of her life. She converted to Catholicism, which led to her daily devotion to the rosary. Through her weekly rosary gathering, she acquired lifelong friends, spanning over 40 years.
Jo and Jim spent 44 wonderful years together before his untimely death in 1997.
Jo was quick-witted and loved to visit, tell stories about family and friends. She faithfully followed her family’s activities, be it sports, concerts or school functions. Her knowledge and love of sports was phenomenal. She purchased a cabin in Red Lodge for her large family gatherings; we will forever cherish the memories spent there with her.
Jo is survived by her children, Tim (Cindy), Therese (Sam) Campbell, Tam (Dick) Brekke, Todd (Paullette), Tony (Jill), Tracey (Jim) Blome, Tana (Warren) Helmer, Terry (Karen), Trisha (Chris) Ryan, and Tara (John) Roberts; sister Janet Bouchee; sisters-in-law Shirley Thomas, Lura and Marie Thelen. She is also survived by 49 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Jo was preceded in death by her husband Jim, son Tom, her parents, three brothers and numerous in-laws.
The rosary will be prayed at 5:15 p.m., followed by a vigil at 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 5. The funeral mass celebrating her life is at 12 noon on Monday, August 6, both at St. Patrick Co-Cathedral, 215 N. 31st St.
In lieu of flowers, your generosity and kindness can be gifted to Billings Catholic School Foundation, Children Tumor Foundation (Neurofibromatosis) or a charity of your choice.
Mom will forever be in our hearts. We love you most, cheers “Here’s to go.”