Herman Hendrik (Henry or Hank) Thiessens

Herman Hendrik Thiessens was born January 1, 1919 at 1051 Downington Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He was the second son born to Herman Thiessens and Henderika Folkers.  He was given an LDS Blessing May 2, 1920 by LeGrande Richards at Sugar House Ward, Granite Stake. Five years later, the family was in Whittier Ward. He was baptized by Ralph Brown on November 24, 1928 and confirmed by Jesse M. Fox on December 2, 1928  and ordained a Deacon by Denton K. Jackson on December 20, 1931.

Herman spent his entire childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He stated that his home was pleasant and agreeable, but at the age of 14 he was sent to Utah State Industrial School, a reform school at Ogden, Utah (after completing the 9th grade) on a car theft charge and did about one year where he learned to cook and do photography.  He was later sent to the Utah State Penitentiary on a forgery charge for five years and did four years there.  His time was mostly occupied in farming and driving truck.

He married Blenn Patterson on 2 May 1944 in Ely, Nevada becoming a step-father to her son who was about six years of age.  She was granted a divorce which occurred in December of that same year  (he was informed of the divorce while serving at the Federal Penitentiary in Kansas.)

After wrecking, his brother, Ted's car (who was serving in the U.S. Navy) in Wyoming, and not having money to tow it where he could get it repaired, he stole a car and took it across the state line to Little America, Wyoming where he was arrested for violation of the Dyer Act.  He remained in jail until his conviction in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Herman Henry Thiessens, 1944

Henry was sent to the Federal Reformatory in El Reno, Oklahoma but was later transferred to U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas where he was given institutional employment as a clerk and photographer until his parole in August 1948.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Phyllis-Jenson-Thiessens-young.jpgHe married Phyllis Geneva Jensen on 18 Jun 1949 at Redmond, Sevier, Utah where she was working as a waitress.  His occupation at this time was chauffer.  After their marriage, they subsequently moved to Salt Lake City where seven children (five boys and two b2ap3_thumbnail_Phyllis-Jenson-Thiessens-old.jpggirls) were born to them (Dennis Henry, who preceded him in death in 2002, Robert Scott, Phillip Richard, Linda Kaye, Charles Keogh, Katherine Elaine, and Brent Alan Thiessens).

He worked most of his life driving truck, but was also engaged at different times of his life as a cook, auto mechanic, and photographer.  Hank was employed for several years as a truck driver for Salt Lake City Corporation.  He retired in 1982 and started his own trucking company.

Herman (Hank) Thiessens died on May 30, 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 85 years and his cremated remains were buried at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 South Highland Drive in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, June 4, 2005.


Hank Thiessens ca. 2000

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