replace photo with Les’s headstone when completed


DOB: December 12, 1932
Hammond, IN  

DOD: July, 3rd, 2020
At Home, Arlington Heights, IL 




Son of Walter L. Thielman and Paula M. (nee Kuhlman) Thielman


Brother To: Loren W. Thielman



Les grew up on his father’s airports, first the Chicago Heights Airport and later Governor’s Air Park, Richton Heights, IL 

Chicago Heights Airport

Governor’s Air Park / Wings Field


As a young man he enjoyed fixing and racing stock cars in addition to helping at the airport when needed. He was taught to fly by his older brother “Loren” and his father “Walter” 


1953, At the age of 21 he enlisted in the US Army and served at Fort Sheridan Army Base and  studied Chemical Biological & Radiological Warfare Defense and Artillery Survey Specialist. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Expert Marksmanship Badge (M-1) He served in Battery 175 Field Artillery Battalion. 

Les ‘s is in the Amy Now

He also Married” Dollie Joanne Johnson 

Husband to: Dollie Joanne Johnson, Married  June 24, 1953


The Army Bridal Hut, Ft. Jackson, SC

Dad told a story about bring Dollie to the Bridal hut and they sent hours cleaning and sweeping it out and making it cozy, Dollie prepared dinner and for desert made a lemon meringue pie, After dinner they put the pie on top of the refrigerator and overnight the roaches ate all the meringue off the top of the pie.  ( it must have been love) 


Father To: Sherry L. (Larry) Gianneschi , Sandra Lee Thielman, Walter Scott Thielman 

In 1954 his first daughter came along: Sherry Lynn Thielman 

Followed by: Sandra Lee Thielman, 1956

And Last his son: Walter Scott Thielman, 1963






in 1959 at the age of 27,  He’s father “Walt” died of a massive heart attach and left his mother to run the airport on her own. Les joined his mother in managing Governor’s Air  park and later took over ownership and changed the name of the Airport to Wings Field. In addition he was a used equipment salesman for Midwest Industrial Properties, Chicago Heights, IL 



As a hobby he also built a Go-Cart track on the airports property and began building go-carts at home.




He also built his own airplane from the ground up in the family garage in Park Forest, IL . It was quite a sight to see the airplane with its wings alone side of it strapped to a trailer and towed to the airport in Richmond Park, IL . 



November 5,  1968 at the age of 36, he lost his wife and the mother of his children: Sherry, Sandy & Scott. 















Husband to: Carol Frances Koehn/Broerjtes , Married August 1969

Got to love the smirk on Les’s face

in 1969 at the age of 37, he Remarried a second time to: Carol Frances Koehn/Broerjtes in August 1969 and became step-father to: Mark, Scott & Kent Broerjtes.

In 1969 after the wedding he moved the whole family, all six kids and his  new wife to Prospect Heights, IL and sold Wings Field to the Civil Air Patrol.

in 1969 He’s started his own used machinery business “Wings Machinery” in Wheeling, IL . at the same time he bought himself a Beechcraft “Staggerwing Beech” model D17 bi-plane. 


Model Airplane collection




Les also owned, Auctions Unlimited and was an auctioneer. He was an avid reader of Si-fi and mystery books, he collected coins, lead soldiers and vintage model airplanes 




In the early 1970’s Les built his own 1939 Roadster from the Ground up, It gave him pleasure for many years and remains in the family to this day.



As the years past, Carol and Les had many good years, many wonderful vacations and many happy holidays together. 

(Create slideshow of vacations & holidays ) 


For many years Les & Carol owned and operated “The Mole Hole” A exclusive gift shop in Glenview, IL and also in Florida 

(add photo of Glenview shop)


The kids all grew up and most got married and the grandchildren started coming, these are just a few photo’s of the grandchildren. Too many photos to show all of them, there are 15 grandchildren & 7 great-grandchildren in all. 

(create slideshow of grandchildren) 

In 2017 Les lost his 2nd wide Carol , mother of Mark, Scott & Kent Broerjtes and for the last 2.5 years he lived in his home with his step-son Mark. 

Obituary for Leslie Ralph Thielman


Leslie Ralph Thielman, 87, of Arlington Heights, IL passed away peacefully July 3, 2020 in his home.

He was born December 12, 1932 in Hammond, Indiana to Walter Louis and Paula Marguerite Thielman. As a teenager, Les was enrolled in a mechanic school and then worked in a mechanic’s shop. He enjoyed working on cars so much that he started building cars, racing cars and go-carts. Les later then served in the United States Army as a land surveyor and mechanic.

While working at his father’s airports, Chicago Heights Airport and Governors Air Park (Richton Park, IL), his passion for planes grew. He became a flight instructor, built full scale, and collected vintage model airplanes. Les took over the family owned airport after his father’s passing and changed its name to Wing’s Field. In June of 1953 he married Dollie Joanne Johnson and had 3 beautiful children: Sherry, Sandra, and Scott. After the passing of Dollie, Les married Carol Frances Koehn/Broertjes in August of 1969. Carol had 3 sons of her own, Mark, Scott and Kent making the family complete.

Les was a true businessman/entrepreneur. After a while, he sold the airport and took on new adventures. He was a used machinery salesman (Midwest Industrial Properties), used machinery business owner (Wings Machinery and Auctions Unlimited). He even dabbled in being an auctioneer and a co-owner of a specialty gift shop (The Mole Hole) before retiring to enjoy quality time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He had many passions that he enjoyed in his spare time, reading sci-fi and mystery novels, collecting (coins and lead soldiers). Along with being a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Prospect Heights, the Lions Club of Prospect Heights, and participated in the Beecher Mausoleum National Landmark Restoration Project.

Les was an amazing, strong, and generous man who had a heart of gold. He loved being around friends and family and was always there to help someone when they were in need. He loved to entertain his grandchildren with Donald Duck impressions and singing old time songs that always made them laugh and smile.

Les is survived by his children, Sherry (Larry) Gianneschi, Sandra Lee Thielman, and W. Scott Thielman and Stepson Mark Broerjtes; 15 grandchildren: Justin, Ryan, Shane, Brandon and Marisa Broertjes; Larry, Nick and Amanda Gianneschi; Christina Lee; Samantha, Stacey, Michael, Jacqueline, Alex and Steven Thielman; 7 great grandchildren, Tyler, Layla, Kain, Rocco and Gianna Broertjes; Aryanna and L.J. Gianneschi. He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Paula Thielman; a brother, Loren Thielman; his wives: Dollie J. Thielman and Carol F. Thielman; stepsons, Scott and Kent Broertjes.

Les will be missed by all who were lucky enough to have known him. A service will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 304 W. Palatine Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070.

Memorials: Memorial may be made at: Hack-Jensen Funeral Home, Beecher, IL. https://www.hackfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Leslie-Thielman/ or at the Beecher Mausoleum www.beechermausoluem.org/Les.R.Thielman



December 12th, 1932

 July 3rd, 2020

1939 Staggerwing Beechcraft D17S


N236E, November 236 Echo, you are cleared for final take off. Destination – the pearly gates of heaven. Winds are calm, weather is good. Your final pre-flight check list is complete! All systems are go! Look Dad, do you see them? The little BOX family with all the kids are out again on the side of the runway to watch you take off one more time.

As if on an angel’s wing, you left this earthly plain for the last time as you soar through the clouds with aerobatic loops, rolls and spins and practicing your favorite trick with nose up and nose down maneuvers, you float your Zippo thru the air from the dashboard into your shirt pocket, Bravo Dad. Do it again please. Simply enjoying yourself just like you have done so many times before. Fly high Daddy, higher still. I know you can do it! Heaven waits for you now.

As you prepare for landing, your final checklist is complete.

Do you hear the band Dad? They are playing a few of the songs you loved, The Preacher and the Bear, The Darktown Poker Club, Deck of Cards and the 3 little fishes in the itty-bitty pool to name just a few. 

While all of those you once loved stand at the gate waiting for you to land. Look Dad, Your Grandparents are there, your Mom & Dad, your bother Shorty too. Your two beautiful wives are waiting to take your arm again. Scott & Kent are there. Look Dad, more are coming, all your family’s ties are there, The Kuhlmans, Bielfeldts, Thielmans, Johnsons, Stennings and Koehns too. Dad, do you see them?  There’s Shep, Bingo, Big Saam & Sheba, Kim, Dusty, Lucy and Gretel just to name a few, they have all come from across the rainbow bridge to play with you again.

While here on earth, those you left behind wept at your departure as we watched you fly into the clouds for the final time.

We will miss you everyday Dad.

We know our own flights to heaven are scheduled for another day

 So, Wait for us Dad.

Soon we will join you and we can all be together once more.

This is how I wish to remember your last day on earth Dad. I hope Heaven has wonderful Airports, Racetracks and Go-cart tracks waiting for you to play on.

Love you to the Moon and Back!!! Your Loving Daughter

and Daddy’s little girl.

              Sandra Lee 





In Loving Memory 

Editors note:  When  was little I could not say foxes. So every time I asked dad to take me out to see the foxes it came out BOXES. You could only see them when you taxied an airplane down the runway. Otherwise they would always hide. Kits are baby foxes, but again I called them KIDS. 


Up, Up and away on angels wings to Heaven’s gate you Soared : July 3rd, 2020

                      At Dad’s Funeral we had the honor of the US. Military Honor Guard and a few pilots for Galt Field honored Les with a fly over. We are very Honored to have loved such a great man. 

We will miss our Father very, very much, it is very hard to say Good-Bye, So I’ll just close in saying “Till we meet again Mom’s & Daddy” 

Les is preceded in death by his Parents: Walter & Paula Thielman, his Brother: Loren Thielman, his Grandparents: Henry & Minnie Thielman,  his Wife: Dollie Joanne Thielman, his second Wife: Carol Frances Thielman, his Step-sons: Kent Broertjes and Scott Broerjtes

Other family members resting in the mausoleum are: 


Wife: Dollie Joanne (Johnson) Thielman 
2nd Wife: Carol Frances Koehn/Broerjtes Thielman 
(a small portion of Carol’s ashes are entombed with Les
Father & Mother : Walter L. Thielman & Paula  M. (Kuhlman) Thielman
Brother:    Loren Walter Thielman
Grandparents: Henry F. Thielman & Minnie (Bielfeldt) Thielman

Other, more distant family include: Bahlman, Batterman, Bergmeier, Beseke, Bielfeldt, Bohl, Cloidt, Dunlap, Engleking,  Fenske, Fick, Fiene, Freerking, Frobose, Graham, Guritz, Hack, Hager, Haltenhof , Heine, Heldt, Hildeman, Hinze, Hoffman, Hoppensteadt, Horn, Hunte, Kaczynski, Kappe, Kirchhoff,  Klocksieben, Koch, Langreder, Leder, Maass, Matthias, Mc Carty, Meyer, Monk, Niedert, Ohlendorf, Pansa, Peters, Pralle, Riley, Ristenpart, Rohe, Rust, Saller, Selk, Struve, Vagt, Von Engeln, Wegert, Wehmhoefer, Wiechen, Westphal, Wilkening,

(Editor’s note): If you have not guessed, this is my father. This man set me on my path to save and restore the Beecher Mausoleum 26 years ago. I didn’t think it was possible, but Dad gave me just enough time. This year 2020  I hope to complete the last of the restoration that I am capable of. I’m praying there is another out there to pick-up the project and see it into the next century. With a little care the Mausoleum is capable of standing for 100’s and 100’s of years into the future and continue to bury family members next to family for many more years.  With Pride and Love I hope to rest next to my parents and my family in the future myself. 

Sandra Lee Thielman 





One thought on “LESLIE (LES) R. THIELMAN

  1. Thinking of you again DAD. wish you were still here to answer my questions and teach me new things.
    Will be hugging you soon.
    Love, Sandra

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