Kathleen "Kathy" Mae Thiess, October 23, 1957 - February 21, 2021

Kathleen "Kathy" Mae Thiess
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With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Kathleen "Kathy" Mae Thiess, age 63, on the evening of Sunday, February 21st. Strong-willed, stubborn and determined to do it her way, she returned home from several days in the hospital, spent the weekend with her entire family under the roof of her home and took her last breath surrounded by those family members and her beloved pup while her grandchildren ran around upstairs, as only they were allowed to do at Gigi's house. She died just the way she lived; defying the expected and on no one’s terms besides her own.  

She was born in La Crosse, WI and throughout childhood lived in Jefferson, WI, Roselle, IL, and Madison, WI before landing in Eau Claire and graduating from Memorial High School. She worked various jobs throughout her young life in banking, teaching, and overnights at the hospital in Osseo and 20+ years at Menards in the Payroll department.  

Kathy married her high school sweetheart, Brian Thiess, and spent her greatest years alongside him, building on that foundation of love with each of her children as a dedicated mother, first and foremost. She will be sorely missed and survived by her husband, Brian; 4 children, Justin (Kristy) Thiess; Erica (Scott Kosmo) Thiess, Nicole (Chris Keen) Thiess, Cody (Shonda) Thiess; 12 grandchildren, Hailey, Alexis, Ashley, Jack, Parker, Brecken, Addison, Grady, Carson, Natalee, Paxton & Elliott; and her "favorite child", four-legged "Maizie Mae", who was always at her side and blessed the last years of her life with profound comfort and joy. Kathy treasured her family and especially loved her role as "Gigi"; coat pocket stuffer of candies & cookies and full-time operator of surprise "Grandmazon" deliveries. 

She was, seemingly, quiet and reserved; a loving, kind, empathetic heart who made anyone feel comfortable the moment they met her. To her family, she was a practical joker, sarcastic and humorous, vibrant and playful; the kind of woman who embodied selflessness and generosity. She leaves behind an intensely loved family, the very best cut-out cookie & frosting recipe, dozens of "Joey Joey Kangaroo" stories and just enough fear in her children to second guess disciplining, or saying no to, her grandchildren.  

Kathy will also be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her brother, Benjamin Thompson and his partner Sharon Pointe, brothers & sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, prior co-workers, and many friends and strangers fortunate to have been touched by her tenacity, wit, grace and kindness. 

Kathy was preceded in death by her father & mother, Benjamin & Barbara Thompson; sister, Kimberly Austin; and father & mother-in-law, George & Lucy Thiess. An 11 year battle with Multiple Myeloma also failed to overtake Kathy's determination, strength, resilience and unrelenting pursuit of additional years with her loved ones and the ability to meet and spoil 7 more grandchildren (it didn't stand a chance). 

Family & friends are invited to share their memories and attend visiting hours on Saturday, the 27th of February from 2pm-5pm at Hulke Family Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire. People are encouraged to wear masks and to practice social distancing.  Please do not attend if you are not feeling well. Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.   A celebration of life will be held at a later date.  


  1. Vickie Price March 1, 2021

    So sorry to hear about the passing of such a wonderful person. Kathy was one-of-a-kind. She was so calm and I never saw her flustered by anything. That mischievous twinkle in her eye was the only give-away that a little prankster was residing within. I am grateful to have met Kathy and blessed to have memories of such an amazing person. My condolences to all who knew and loved her.

  2. Michael Green &Cyndi February 28, 2021

    Brian & family - So sorry to hear of Kathy's passing. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

  3. Terri Jain February 27, 2021

    My deepest sympathy to the Theiss family, I knew how much she loved you and will be missed. I hired and worked with Kathy during her entire career at Menards. She was wonderful, smart, hardworking, kind and dedicated, she set a great example for all. As a Team Lead she trained and mentored many Team Members that became her friends. Her sense of humor kept things on the light side even during some challenging times. I shared many "moments" with her over the years and remember her as one of the best.

  4. Connie Brott Stahlbusch February 25, 2021

    Brian and family
    I am so sorry about Kathy's passing... she will be missed greatly missed.

  5. Debra A Gilmore February 24, 2021

    I remember most about this woman, her generosity and love for her family. I never heard a hard word from her or negative sentiment. She represented family, love and all that is good in this world. May she find peace as she joins her family that loved her in this world and will welcome her beyond. Love to all of her children, grandchildren and the love of her life, Brian.

  6. Laura Hatleli February 24, 2021

    To the Thiess Family:
    I am so sorry to hear of this loss. Kathy was always so loving and kind to anyone that entered her life. I always enjoyed visits with her. And will always remember bringing my youngest out to "cheer her up" shortly after he was born. She always treated anyone who entered her home like family. Loving thoughts and prayers sent your way!

  7. Linda A Caliebe February 24, 2021

    So very sorry for the loss of dear Kathy-she was truly one of a kind. I was so grateful to have known her at Menards and counted her a wonderful friend and co-worker. She will be sorely missed.