Ben G. Thiel, Jr. died peacefully at age 91. Preceded in death by his parents Ben G. Thiel, Sr. and Alma Thiel, both natives of Waukesha, he is survived by Ruth Schmidt Thiel, his wife of 67 years, their 3 children, Robin Olson of Waukesha, Jody Oaks (Floyd) of Alamosa, Colorado, and Michael (Lynn) Thiel of Hartland, Wisconsin and siblings Phyllis Price of Des Moines, Iowa, Ruth Jones of Elkhorn, Wisconsin and Victor (Chip) Thiel (Sharon) of Canton, Ohio. Further survived by grandchildren; Sarah Olson, Jared, Amy and Eric Oaks, Jamie and Brad Thiel, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
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He attended and graduated from Waukesha High School in 1945, was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an officer in Japan and Korea as part of the Army of Occupation in map reproduction units, which gave him the foundation for his future employment and livelihood. Upon separation in 1947, he attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in January 1951, where he had met Ruth and later married her in 1951. He was recalled to active duty later that year to serve both stateside and in Korea during that conflict.
Finally discharged in 1953, he began working at Delzer-Marlow Litho Company of Waukesha, which later became Delzer Lithograph Company of Waukesha. He had done part time work for Delzer-Marlow while attending college, and then full-time employment at Delzer Lithograph Company after returning from Korea. His retirement in 1995 saw him complete 44 years in the lithographic printing industry, for all practical purposes with only one employer. He loved the printing industry. He was an honorary member of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen.
An avid skier, backpacker and student of prehistoric American Indian civilizations and culture, he loved the Rocky Mountains and the southwestern US, traveling to many Colorado and Utah ski areas and exploring ancient Indian ruins in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. He and his wife, better known as ‘Schmitty’ traveled to many countries around the globe, including China, New Zealand, around South America, Alaska, Hawaii, Nova Scotia, Churchill, Manitoba and British Columbia, Antarctica, windjammer sailing out of Maine and many visits as a citizen-diplomat to Waukesha’s sister city of Kokshetau, Kazakhstan.