Obituary: John D. Thenell

John D. Thenell, 88, Sturgeon Bay, died May 14, 2017, at Door County Medical Center. He was born April 28, 1929, in Sturgeon Bay to the late Walter and Laura (May) Thenell. John attended Sturgeon Bay High School and graduated with a business degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

John married the love of his life Darlene Baudhuin on October 23, 1954. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage.

John worked throughout his life, getting started in the thriving Door County cherry business at Martin Orchards. John transitioned to a sales position with Marine TraveLift where he successfully promoted and sold Marine TraveLift in the Midwest and up and down the East coast. John continued his successful business career as an owner and operator of Baudhuin Yacht Harbor and the Fish Creek Alibi Dock, growing the business until he retired in the mid-1980s.

John was a dedicated member at St. Joseph and Corpus Christi parishes. He oversaw lecturing services at Corpus Christi for nearly 40 years. As a longtime member of the parish, John served as a trustee for both the school and church and was a tireless promoter for the church’s bulletin program. He served on the Sturgeon Bay Harbor Commission for three decades, part of that time as chair, and was a proud sponsor/member of the local University of Wisconsin Alumni Association. John also contributed his many talents and time to various other charitable efforts including the Maritime Museum and the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, operating the “Quo Vadis” to and from Chambers Island, a place he enjoyed.

John enjoyed a highly family-focused and active lifestyle of downhill and cross country skiing, ice hockey skating, sailing, bird hunting, treasuring his grandparents’ homestead, tending to his fruit trees and attending to a summer cottage on Chambers Island.

John will be missed and is survived by his wife Darlene, their four children Scott (Bryn) Thenell, Julie (Jim) Fay, Martin (Lisa) Thenell, and Matthew (Heather) Thenell. In addition, three grandsons (John Martin, Theodore, Luke), two granddaughters (Elizabeth, Christina), and one great-granddaughter (Ara), along with sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his three siblings: Janet, Jim and Joel Thenell.

A mass will be held at Corpus Christi Church on Monday May 22, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. with burial at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Friends may call at Forbes Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday May 21st from 4:00-7:00 p.m. and at the church on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

The Thenell family would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to the caregivers and paramedics of Door County Medical Center and especially Ministry Home Care which allowed John to reside at home as a result of their tremendous care provided over the years.

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