Obituary of Rev. John Tholen

By Robert Siler
Diocese of Yakima
January 18, 2012

The Reverend John Tholen of Yakima, a retired priest of the Diocese of Yakima, died Saturday evening, January 14, in Yakima. He had been treated for the past several months for lung cancer. At the request of his family, Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated this morning with a small group of family and friends at St. Paul Cathedral Chapel, with the Rev. Msgr. John Ecker presiding.

Bishop Emeritus Carlos A. Sevilla, S.J. presided at the committal service later in the morning at Calvary Cemetery. A Memorial Mass will be offered at a suitable date.

John was born January 15, 1936 in Marshall, Minnesota, to Lambert and Lena (Hammond) Tholen. He graduated from Marquette High School in Yakima in 1954, then attended Carroll College in Helena, Montana. He graduated from St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, Washington in 1962 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1962 at St. Paul Cathedral.

John was associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Ephrata from 1962 to 1964; and associate pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Quincy from 1964 to 1966. He then began teaching at Carroll High School in Yakima. From 1975 to 1976, he served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wenatchee, than was appointed pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, where he served until 1978.

From 1978 to 1980, John was co-pastor of St. Paul Cathedral, then served as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Yakima from 1980 to 1985. He was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish from 1985 to 1990, then served as pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish in Yakima until his retirement in 1997. In retirement, he led a quiet life of prayer at home and at Holy Family Parish.

Survivors include two sisters, Elinor Fortier and Elaine Rink, of Yakima, and numerous nieces and nephews.


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