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Donna Thilges

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article

July 29, 1931 - June 15, 2023

Donna Schmit Thilges, age 92, of Urbandale, died at her home on Saturday, June 15, 2024. A public visitation will be held on June 25 at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home & Crematory (8201 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, Iowa 50322) from 5 until 7 p.m., with a rosary service starting at 6:30 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at 10  a.m. on Wednesday, June 26 at St. Pius X Catholic Church (3663 66th St, Urbandale, IA 50322). Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in St. Joseph (1021 120th Avenue, Bode, Iowa 50519) at 1:30 p.m. with a funeral dinner at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Algona (723 E. North St., Algona, Iowa 50511) following internment. Memorial contributions can be made to: Animal Rescue League of Iowa ( and Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home & Crematory is caring for the Thilges family.

Donna was born July 29, 1931, in St. Joe, the daughter of Peter and Sarah (Rowell Wagner) Schmit. Donna attended elementary and high school in St. Joe, graduating in 1949. She continued her education at Central Business College in Kansas City, graduating in 1950. In 1951, she moved to the family farm at Plum Creek with her mother Sarah, brother Mike and sister Sarah. Donna was working as a bookkeeper for Druggist Mutual in Algona at this time. She was an early user of a new technology in 1951 called computers; her duties included punching the cards that were sent to a computer lab in Ames for processing.

Donna and Paul J. Thilges, Jr. became husband and wife on June 8, 1955, at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Algona. Paul and Donna farmed west of St. Joe and there raised a family of 13 children. It was a busy house with large gardens and where many meals were prepared and clothes were constantly being washed. The many homemade pies she made were a special treat. Donna enjoyed visiting with her sisters and relatives, especially if playing cards was involved. She was a member of several 500 card clubs including the St. Joe 500 card club and euchre card clubs for many years. Donna enjoyed reading novels of all varieties and spoiling her cats and dogs.

After Paul’s death in 1987, Donna continued to live on the family farm. In 1992, she moved to Algona when her youngest child, Emily, graduated from Bishop Garrigan High School. Donna moved to Urbandale in 2004 where many of her 13 children, 27 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren live in the Des Moines metro. Her children are: Paul (Therese) Thilges, Susan (Richard) Adam, Philip (Stephanie) Thilges, Lois (Brian) Glanz, Jean (Paul) Morrison, Anthony (Jeanette) Thilges, Joseph Thilges, Patricia (Andrew) Blaess, Michael (Mary) Thilges, Charles (Monica) Thilges, Elizabeth (Christopher) Young, David (Lisa) Thilges and Emily (Jason) Holub. Donna was preceded in death by her husband Paul; sisters, Dorothy Pruitt, Mary Majerus, Sarah Centgraf, Cecilia McGuire; brothers, Thomas Wagner, Michael Schmit and granddaughter Jessica Thilges.

The family would like to thank the team at UnityPoint Hospice, especially Erin, Donna and Dee, Brian at WesleyLife Meals on Wheels, and Madeline and Jean at St. Pius.  You helped improve Mom’s quality of life which we deeply appreciate.

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