Jacob Donald Thiessen


Jacob Donald Thiessen, born May 5, 1934, died in his sleep on July 23, 2019. JD as he was commonly known in Tahlequah, was born South of Haskett, MB, Canada, to Jacob Thiessen and Maria Zacharias Thiessen, the first of their nine surviving children.
Funeral Services will be held at Hart Funeral Home, 1506 N. Grand Ave., Tahlequah, OK 74464, at 10:00 AM, Friday, July 26, 2019, with internment to follow at Tahlequah City Cemetery.
The first 30 years of his life were spent on a farm in Manitoba, Canada. At around age 30, he left the farm and went to Belize with the Mennonite Central Committee for two years. He was then recruited by West Indies Mission, later known as World Team, a non-denominational mission, to manage their dairy farm in Lancaster County, PA. There, he met love of his life, Maye who was a missionary to Haiti. October 11, 1969, they married, and after some time in North America, returned to Haiti. Dad used his mechanical skills in running a large garage that repaired the mission vehicles and those of the Haitians associated with the mission. He was also in charge of maintaining the mission compound including an orphanage, medical clinic, radio station, and Bible college as well as a missionary children's school, water and electrical systems, and administrative buildings. JD assisted in building a hospital in the mountains of South Haiti along with many other projects in addition to maintaining infrastructure and training Haitians to be mechanics.
In August of 1982, JD and Maye moved to Tahlequah and dad started work at Go Ye Village, where he worked until 2007. He considered his new mission to be service to those who had served before. Tahlequah truly became his home and he was blessed with many friends, neighbors, and church family here in Tahlequah. He could fix almost anything and was a talented woodworker. (JD's Christian faith was centrally important to him and formed his words and actions throughout his life.)
JD is survived by his loving wife of 49 years Maye, son James Thiessen and his wife Jennifer, grandchildren Audrey, Franklin, Alyssa, and Samantha. He is also survived by his siblings: Cathy Epp, Anne Toews, Susan, Ernie (Margaret), Hank (Sally), David (Audrey) and Edward (Liz). He was also blessed with numerous nephews and nieces.
The family would like to thank Cherokee County Nursing Center and Compassus Hospice for their outstanding service to JD. Finally, a tremendous thanks to all of the family friends, you know who you are!
To plant a tree in memory of Jacob Donald Thiessen, please visit Tribute Store.
Published on July 23, 2019
Plant a tree in memory
of Jacob
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on October 21, 2019.

2 posts

Stacey Matlock
Jul 25, 2019
I have known JD many years. I met him through Go Ye Village, he would come rent U-HAUL trucks to move residents from Go Ye Village. He always had encouraging words to share. Go rest with Jesus, your work here is done my friend!!!
Vernon and Verona
Jul 23, 2019
To the family of J. D. many memories come to mind as we remember the abilities and skills shown by him. Serving on the missions committee and helping at church are two things he seemed to really enjoy. He also had a real heart for the young people of our church. May this time be of comfort and encouragement as you remember what his real wishes were that he expressed just over a week ago when I visited with him and Maye: " I want to go home."