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Joseph Tholkes, 97, of Langdon, ND passed away Sunday, October 9, 2016 at Maple Manor Care Center in Langdon.
Joseph was born January 23, 1919 in Devils Lake, ND to Joseph and Mary (Kockelman) Tholkes. He attended school and graduated from Munich High School in 1937. After graduation, he lived in the Munich area before serving in the US Army for 42 months. Thirty-eight months of his service was spent in the Pacific including Fiji, New Guinea, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and the Philippines. He was on the front lines for 650 days and was proud to have received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star before being honorably discharged in 1945. Joe returned to Munich and was married to Geraldine Wirth on October 29, 1945. Joe was both the postmaster and a merchant in Calio for a couple years before he started farming. He and Gerry raised their family on a farm near Clyde, ND and moved to Langdon in 1965. He continued to farm until 1980 when he retired but still helped his son, Ron, on the farm even after his retirement.
Joe and Gerry were fortunate enough to spend many years wintering in Mesa, AZ and enjoyed the many friends they made down south. Joe was a very social person, and until his stroke in 2012, loved to visit, have coffee or play cards with friends at many different places in Langdon. He was a Ã¢â¬ï¿½fixerÃ¢â¬â¢ and was always willing to help his family or help with community projects. Joe enjoyed playing golf and still played league golf well into his 80s. He was always on the go! He was able to travel a bit and was lucky enough to take a trip to Europe in 1983 to visit the sites and some family. Joe loved his family and always looked forward to hearing about what his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their families were up to in their lives.
Joe was very proud of his military service and was honored to be able to travel to Washington, DC on an honor flight in 2009. He was a life-long member of the Elks, American Legion, Eagles, VFW and was a member of the KCs. He also served on the boards of ASCS, United Telephone, and Bruce Township.
Surviving Joe are his wife of almost 71 years, Geraldine, of Langdon; children: Joni Hall of Devils Lake, ND, Ron (Linda) Tholkes of West Fargo, ND, Carol (Dennis) Throndset of Langdon, and Renae (Art Heigaard) Tholkes of Grand Forks, ND; grandchildren: Steph (Roger) McArthur, Kirsten (Tony) Duval, Kelly (Angela) Hall, Pat (Jonna) Hall, Leah (Robb) Schmidt, Rochelle Tholkes, Dawn (Stoney) Kruk, Jennifer (Trevor) Romfo, Andrea (John) Maus, Jamie (Keith) Mercer, and Chris Girodat; and 20 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings: Eleanor (Steve) Schreder, Arnold (Levena) Tholkes, Agatha (Ray) Helten, Lawrence (Cleo) Tholkes, Omer (Geraldine) Tholkes, Minnie (Ed) Metzger, Raymond Tholkes and Bernice Tholkes; son-in-law Tom Hall; and great-grandson Justin Kruk.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2016 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon, ND. Visitation will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 5-7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 prayer service and 6:30 Rosary at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon. Visitation will continue one hour prior to service time at the church on Monday. Interment will be at St. MaryÃ¢â¬â¢s Cemetery, Munich, ND.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that memorials be directed to Maple Manor Care Center or Cavalier County Library, both located in Langdon.
Ron, Linda, Carol, Dennis, Even at this late date, please accept our deep condolences on Joe's passing. Our father always considered Joe a true gentleman, as did we all. You were terrific neighbors and many warm memories remain. May you heal and be comforted by the love of his friends and extended family. You are in the thoughts and meditations of the LaQua's.
Keith LaQua Jun 5 2018 12:00 AM
Ron/Linda, Sorry to hear about you dad. I always remember him with a smile on his face. He had to be a good man to put up with us over the years. You are in my prayers.
Keith Gendreau Nov 1 2016 12:00 AM
Sorry to hear about the passing of Joe. He was such a happy guy to be around, always smiling You have my deepest sympathy. Jim Zeis & Yvonne Johnson
Jim Zeis Oct 17 2016 12:00 AM
Joe was a wonderful neighbor and friend. Even into his 90's, I could rely on him to help out Mom. My sincerest condolences to the family.
Dawn Beckley Oct 15 2016 12:00 AM
My condolences to the Tholkes family. I always enjoyed visiting with Joe when in Langdon. He always had a friendly smile and something interesting to say. Once when he joined mom, dad, and I for breakfast he even shared a couple WWII stories. He was a true hero. He was also very kind and will be missed by many.
Debra Shuga Oct 13 2016 12:00 AM
So sorry for your loss. What a great Gentleman Joe always was. Always enjoyed running into him on my trips home.
Marcia McLean Borden Oct 11 2016 12:00 AM
Carol, my sympathies to you, and your entire family, on the loss of your father. No matter how long..or for how little time our parents are with us, it's hard to say farewell. Prayers for peace at this sad time. LaVonne (Fischer)
LaVonne Malone Oct 11 2016 12:00 AM
We are so saddened to learn of Joe's passing. The Nelsons, along with many other families in Langdon, grew up together with the Tholkes'. Our prayers and thoughts for the comfort of all. Eileen, Kathy & Tom Nelson
Thomas Nelson Oct 11 2016 12:00 AM
My deepest sympathy Renae, Jamie & Chris and your families. May God Bless You all.
Leland Jelinek Oct 11 2016 12:00 AM
All our love to the family of Grandpa Joe. He was an amazing friend to all. We had a great visit when he was on a bus tour that came thru Minnewaukan during the flooding. I happened to be speaking to this group of people and all of a sudden Grandpa Joe appeared with a big hug. What a great man. Hugs to all. Love, Sherri, Randy, Emma, Evan & Eric Thompson.
Sherri and Randy Thompson Oct 11 2016 12:00 AM