Art Thiel, a longtime resident of Baton Rouge, died peacefully at his home in Wilkesboro, N.C., on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. Art was 91 years old and lived in Baton Rouge for 48 years.
He joined the Army and served in India during World War II. After the war he received his undergraduate degree from Lawrence College in Appleton, WI and a Master's in Government Management from the University of Denver.
He enjoyed gardening and was an avid golfer but was disappointed he had to quit before he was old enough to shoot his age. Art retired from Public Affairs Research Council in 1984, having worked there 25 years, the last 10 as president. After PAR, Art worked for the LSU School of Business, raising endowment funds, and chaired Gov. Buddy Roemer's Talent Search committee. He was also an aspiring opera singer, just ask the grandkids who heard him sing "O Sole Mio" in the shower.
Art believed in giving back; he was very active in Broadmoor United Methodist Church and served on various boards there. In addition, he volunteered at many organizations including Baton Rouge Association for Retarded Citizens, Meals on Wheels and his children's schools. He loved watching the Green Bay Packers. Like many before and after him, Art never saw his beloved Cubs win a World Series.
He was preceded in death by Betty, the love of his life for 58 years. Although they shared a good life together, he always remembered that Betty was a Lieutenant in World War II and outranked him.
He is survived by his children and their spouses, Bill and Fay Thiel, of Holt, MI, Sally Thiel and Joe Martin, of Grassy Creek, NC, and Jim and Tonya Thiel, of Camas, WA . He was the proud grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of seven.
A celebration of Art’s life was held at the Holiday Inn Express in Baton Rouge on January 19, 2012. A public memorial graveside service was held at Port Hudson Military Cemetery on January 20.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from January 10 to January 15, 2012