Timothy James Thelen, our beloved Dad, Papa, Brother and Friend, of Billings, passed away on April 11, 2022, peacefully into the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, surrounded by his children, at the age of 67. Tim was born on April 27, 1954, in Billings, to Jim and Jo Thelen. He was the eldest of 11 children and proudly embraced his role as big brother.
Tim’s childhood and early years were filled with memories of his family and friends. He was grateful for his large family, including his numerous cousins. They formed lifelong friendships and Tim enjoyed recalling stories of the mischief they caused. Tim attended Billings Central Catholic School, where he thrived at multiple sports, particularly football. After high school, he attended and played football for Montana Tech University. After his two years in Butte, Tim moved back to Billings and graduated from Eastern Montana College with a degree in business. He married his high school sweetheart, Teri Ward, and he began his journey as a father, which was the most important job he ever had. In their 19 years of marriage, they had seven children together. Later in life, with Cindy Osburn, he was able to help raise his eighth child. As a father, he played many roles: coach, mentor, friend and confidant. Tim was a proud and successful business owner, respected and beloved, treating employees and his company as an extended family.
Tim enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting, but his best times were those entertaining and being surrounded by his family and friends. Tim was known for contagious laughter, storytelling and personality that was larger than life. Family, friends, faith, loyalty and devotion were the core of Tim as a man and are passed along to his children and grandchildren as part of his legacy.
Tim is preceded in death by his parents, James and Jo; and his beloved brother Tom. He is survived by his eight children, Mac (Nora) Thelen, Chad Thelen, Tyler (Emily) Thelen, Michael Thelen, Kyle (Cori) Thelen, Maggie (Stefan) Ziolkowski, Terese (Bret) Murray and Brooke (Tyler) Crennen; and 15 grandchildren; his nine siblings and 81 nieces and nephews.
The Vigil will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 2055 Woody Drive, with the recitation of the rosary preceding at 6:30 p.m. The funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Interment will follow the mass at Holy Cross Cemetery, with a reception immediately after at The Knights of Columbus, 2216 Grand Ave.
Dad, you were the best and we will miss you every day!