John David Tholen

John David Tholen

John David Tholen


John David Tholen, 76, of Tipton, Iowa entered into eternity on Saturday, April 6, 2024. As a Husband, Father, Grandfather, and dear Friend, to name a few of his beloved titles, there will be Celebration of Life services held in his honor. The visitation will be at Fry Funeral Home in Tipton from 4 – 8 pm on Thursday, April 11 and the Celebration of Life Service at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Stanwood at 10 am on Friday, April 12.

Graveside services will immediately follow at Red Oak Cemetery and a luncheon at St. Mary’s Hall in Tipton to follow. Online condolences can be expressed at

John was born on June 27, 1947 to Ben and Anni (Moenck) Tholen, first-generation Americans and farmers, joining 7 older brothers and sisters as the youngest of the family. That same year, his parents bought their first farm north of Tipton where John’s family continues to live and farm today. At the early age of 13, John began assuming the responsibilities of the farm which is where his love and skill of farming deepened and continues through his living legacy. He graduated with the Tipton High School Class of 1965.

With faith and farming established, as well as serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, it was on June 19, 1976 where his most-treasured legacy grew: his own family. At the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Stanwood, he married his beautiful wife, Kathryn (Shima) Tholen.

Thereafter, they were blessed with Kim, Scott, Tracie and Kellie. Life was simple yet abundant – with “Grandma Anni” close by, and multitudes of friends and family connecting to life at the Tholen farm, deep-rooted values were instilled: faith, family first always, hard work, doing right, respecting America and those that serve the greater good, and ultimately, loving the land and animals, to name some of the most prominent.

John’s years of planting family feet, crops and values brought great returns as his children pursued their dreams, found their loved ones and brought beautiful grandchildren: Kylie (15), Joshua (14), and Lucas (8) Nelson, Benjamin (5) and Isabelle (3) Tholen, AJ (9) and Sean (6) Wiegert, Austin (11), Emilie (10), Adalynn (7) and Anthony (4) Rahn. Fun-loving “Gramps” would tease, teach and cheer them on with every step. No matter the season, their arrival at the farm meant all operations halted for hugs, snacks, catching up, and, many times, jumping into the equipment with him and Grandma. Spending time with his grandchildren is considered one of his most valued blessings.

John is survived by his wife, Kathy; his children, Kim (Mark) Nelson of Greenfield, IA, Scott (JoJo) Tholen of Tipton, IA, Tracie (Jason) Wiegert of Johnston, IA, Kellie (Correy) Rahn of Mt. Carroll, IL, his 11 grandchildren, his sister Annetta Schirm, brother-in-law Bob Jennings, and sister-in-laws Ann Tholen, Betty Tholen and Janice Vrombaut. He is preceded in death by his parents, 6 of his brothers and sisters (Dorothea Ede, Elnora Husmann, Patricia Jennings, Harold Tholen, Herb Tholen and Bernhardt Tholen) and his in-laws (Stanley and Ruby Shima and Floyd Thompson).

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Kenneth Cearlock and the UIHC medical teams for the attentive care provided to John.

Memorials can be made to the “John Tholen Memorial Fund” at P.O. Box 30, Tipton, IA 52772.

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