Cover photo for William Thiessen's Obituary
William Thiessen Profile Photo
1934 William 2015

William Thiessen

September 17, 1934 — June 4, 2015

William Ernest Thiessen
Oak Ridge, Tennessee

William Ernest Thiessen, of Oak Ridge, went home to be with the Lord
on June 4, 2015. Bill was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on September
17, 1934, to Gustav W. Thiessen and Dorothy Claire Johnson Thiessen.

Bill held both a bachelor's degree and a doctoral degree from the
University of California, Berkeley. He also did graduate work at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bill taught chemistry at the University of Washington and the
University of California, Davis, prior to joining the Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, where he spent most of his career as a research
chemist. Bill concentrated on x-ray and neutron diffraction and
authored a number of scientific papers describing molecular and
crystal structures of organic compounds. He also spent a sabbatical
year at the University of Alberta at Edmonton. Following his
retirement from ORNL, Bill worked at the Office of Scientific and
Technical Information in Oak Ridge and with the PAI Corporation.

Bill played tuba in the Oak Ridge Community Band, the Oak Ridge
Symphony Orchestra, the Lower New York Avenue Harmonium, and a variety
of other area ensembles. A highlight of his time with the Lower New
York Avenue Harmonium was a performance with the Empire Brass Quintet
in Oak Ridge. Bill taught trombone, baritone, and tuba for many
years, and his former students include two professional musicians.
Bill also contributed to a compilation of tuba literature for high
school students in the 1996 edition of The Tuba Source Book.

Bill was a member of West Hills Presbyterian Church in Harriman,
Tennessee. He was previously a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church
in Oak Ridge, where he served as a deacon, and Ebenezer Presbyterian
Church in Knoxville.

Bill had an active interest in a variety of fields, including
theology, science, music, and baseball. He traveled extensively with
his wife and enjoyed attending concerts in many countries. Bill also
enjoyed his involvement in Back to Basics in Oak Ridge.

Survivors include Bill's wife, Kathleen Lou Moore Thiessen, and his
son, Karl Howard Thiessen (Lisa) of Daly City, California.

A private burial service was held at the Oak Ridge Memorial Park. A
memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.
at West Hills Presbyterian Church in Harriman, Tennessee, with the
Rev. Jeffrey Jenkins officiating.

Any memorials may be made to West Hills Presbyterian Church or the Oak
Ridge Community Band. Online messages may be left for the family at . Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home is

serving the Thiessen family.

Cemetery Details

Oak Ridge Memorial Park
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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