Richard Tholen


March 10, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Richard J. Tholen, 67, Garnett, passed away from a brain hemorrhage on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. He was surrounded by family when he passed.

He was born on April 21, 1949, in Oakley, the son of Paul and Alice (Bahr) Tholen. He moved with his parents to a farm outside of Moran in 1950. He grew up helping out with the farm. He graduated from Moran High School. Rick was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1969 to 1973. He completed basic training in San Diego, and was then stationed on the USS Holland in Rota Spain. While in the Navy, he worked as a welder on nuclear submarines.

Richard was united in marriage to Peggy Yohon on June 3, 1972, at St. John’s Church in Iola. Following their marriage, Rick and Peggy spent a year in Spain together while he was in the Navy. Both Rick and Peggy considered this one of the best years of their lives, especially the month-long camping trip they took across Europe.

Rick and Peggy moved to Garnett in 1973. Rick returned to farming and became an apprentice plumber. In 1983, they started Plumbing and Heating Unlimited. He worked tirelessly and always made time to respond to people when they were without water or heat in the winter. Rick took pride in his work and made sure that even plumbing and electrical beneath houses was laid out and installed neatly. Once his honesty and work ethic was realized, the community came to rely on Rick. He was very involved in Holy Angels Catholic Church and School and used his expertise to maintain and improve the church and school facilities.

Rick was a loving and dedicated husband, father, granddad, son and brother. Rick and Peggy were blessed with two daughters, Kyle and Kara. He taught his daughters how to help him on calls and they worked with him off and on until they left Garnett. He enjoyed raising sheep and helped his daughters with 4-H livestock projects. Rick supported his daughters through school and college and even hiked the first 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail with them. He enjoyed coming to visit his daughters and loved playing with his grandchildren.

Rick and Peggy were deeply in love. When Peggy became ill, he took care of her and became her full time caregiver. He showed patience, compassion and love; but watching her fade away broke his heart.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Peggy on Dec. 31, 2016; and an infant brother, John Paul Tholen.

Richard is survived by his daughters, Kyle DeGruy, Atlanta, Ga., and Kara Wry, Downers Grove, Ill.; sons-in-law Glen DeGruy and Derek Wry; grandchildren: Glen DeGruy (6), Blake DeGruy (2) and Eleanor Wry(4); siblings, Jim Tholen and wife Vickie, Iola; Carol Perkins, Moran; Gary Tholen and wife Karen, Edmond, Okla., Paula Nipper, Emporia,  and Robert Tholen and wife Julie, Moran.Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. April 1 at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Garnett, Kansas. Interment will follow in the Holy Angels Cemetery in Garnett. A rosary will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 31 at Holy Angels Church, followed by visitation at St. Rose School. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Angels Church or St. Rose School, and left in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent to the family at




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