Peter Adam Theisen was my wife's paternal grandfather. Peter was described as a taciturn man of little humor, a farmer in rural Stearns County, Minnesota. Peter died when my wife was very young and she has few memories of him, but her father, Marvin Henry Theisen, had this to say about his father when interviewed in 2009: "Strict, often crabby when we were young, but after we grew up he was much more forgiving. With 11 kids, that might be understandable." Peter and his wife Caroline Susan (Keppers) actually had 14 children, but three of them died at or soon after birth. The image above was taken from one of Marv's May 1956 wedding photographs.
Here is Peter's obituary as printed in the St. Cloud Daily Times:
PETER A. THEISEN
Peter A. Theisen, 78, 842 35th Ave. N., a retired farmer, died Thursday at the St. Cloud
Hospital. He was born in St. Nicholas, Minn., May 6, 1893, to the late Peter J. and Mary Theisen. He married Caroline Keppers In Rockville, Minn., in 1917, and operated a farm in Stearns County all his life until retiring in 1958.
He was a member of the Catholic Aid of the Immaculate Conception parish, Rockville.
Mr. Theisen is survived by his widow; children, Mrs. Gerhard (Viola) Leither, Mrs. Leander (Lucille) Gross, Mrs. Clodoald (Eileen) Blonigen, Francis and Marvin, St. Cloud; Marcellus and Mrs. Francis (Betty) Zwilling, Sauk Rapids; Mrs. James (Bernice) Brunette, Oak Park, Minn.; Mrs. Math (Rosemary) Koltes and James, Kimball, Minn.; and Vernon, Elk River, Minn., 60 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and brothers and sisters, Math, Adams, Wis.; Henry, Cold Spring; Mrs. John (Louisa) Hoppe, Missuoula, Mont.; and Mrs. Lawrence (Cecilia) Hennen, Belle Plaine, Minn.
He was preceded in death by two sons, one daughter, two brothers and one sister.
Funeral services are at 10 a m. Monday at St. Peter's Church. Burial will be in the Holy Cross Parish Cemetery, Pearl Lake, Minn.
Pallbearers will be Peter and Richard Leither, Ronald and John Theisen, Bernard Koltes and Walter Blonigen.
Friends may call at the Daniel Funeral home after 2 p.m. Sunday.
St. Peter's parish will say the parish prayers at the funeral home at 3 p m. Sunday.
The nice thing about this obituary is that it has a full listing of children with spouses' names and city of residence, which is helpful for genealogists in tracing family members. It also gives a few siblings, and the fact that many grandchildren and greats exist. Some obituaries omit first names of some descendants, notably women who are sometimes listed as "Mrs. John Smith". Some do not include any location information at all, either. If you are ever asked to write an obituary, please include as much of this information as you have space for!