William N. Thommes was born Sept. 8, 1926, in Remsen, the son of Leo and Mary (Wholes) Thommes. In his childhood years he lived in the Remsen and Granville areas and at the age of 15 he moved with his family to Le Mars. As a young man Bill was employed with Merle Truesdale in Le Mars for several years driving a tank wagon.
He married Joan Ortmann Sept. 23, 1952, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. Following their marriage the couple lived in Le Mars where he started up his own business with a portable feed grinder. He also was involved in raising feeder pigs for many years. For many years Bill and Joan also were the owners and managers of the Bel Air Motel in Le Mars. Three years ago, they moved to Omaha, Neb., due to Bill's failing health and to be closer to their family.
Bill was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, Trinity Council #1466 in Le Mars.
He liked dogs and horses and enjoyed going for walks.
Survivors include his wife Joan of Omaha, Neb.; three children and their spouses: Patty and Tom Griffith and Bill and LuAnn Thommes, all of Omaha, and Karen and Paul Severson of Las Cruces, N.M.; 13 grandchildren: Kathleen, Bobby and Anne Griffith, Brian, Stephanie, Mark, Craig, Ellen, Erika and Maria Thommes, and Andrea, Alexia and Phillip Severson; four sisters: Katherine Dreckman and her husband Cletus of Le Mars, Vitalena Penning and her husband Andrew and Leona Goebel and her husband Magnus, all of Granville, and Dorothy Tillotson of Fort Wayne, Ind.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Mary Thommes; and a brother-in-law Don Tillotson.
A Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday) at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Le Mars. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation at the Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars was after 3 p.m. Sunday, where there was a rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., followed immediately by the K.C. rosary.
Memorials may be directed to St. Joseph's Building Fund or Gehlen Catholic Schools.