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1946 Mary Jane Thiedeman 2024

Mary Jane Thiedeman

September 21, 1946 — June 5, 2024

Encircled by friends and family, a special soul escaped the chaos of this earthly world in the early morning hours of June 5th, 2024. This special soul belonged to Mary Jane Thiedeman. Jane was a humble wife, a loving and accepting mother, and she could make a friend anywhere. She valued her friendships that endured and always had a heart of selfless giving. At age 77, Jane succumbed peacefully to a massive brain hemorrhage after battling a series of health obstacles over the last eight years.

Jane was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Edward Allison and Frances Allison on September 21st, 1946. Jane was the third born of four children to Ed and Frances. Sally Hargrove and Larry Allison welcomed Jane as their little sister. But at just two weeks old her family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she spent her formative years. Shortly after moving to Colorado, Jane welcomed her baby sister Jody Allison Lenz. Jane and her family later returned to the Chicago area where she and her siblings attended Hinsdale High School. Jane graduated from Hinsdale in 1964 and immediately set off to the West via train where she attended New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. Jane excelled in college, formed lifelong friendships, was President of the Phi Lambda Kappa sorority, and competed in the Miss West Wind pageant. She graduated with a History degree and soon began work at Homestead National Historic Park in Beatrice, Nebraska.

While in the midwest, Jane met her husband of 39 years, Larry. They were united in marriage in Flagstaff, Arizona, on December 4th, 1971. The couple settled on their small family farm in Westside, Iowa, for the following 25 years. After growing up in large urban areas, Jane transitioned to small-town life. During this time, they welcomed their two daughters Tamara and Megan. Jane was a dedicated wife, supportive mother, as well as an ambitious trailblazer in her own right. She worked to create a first-ever food co-op in Westside to support the local farmers and community. She also worked collaboratively to create the Westside Economic Development Organization (WEDO) that focused on providing the best housing, educational opportunities, and services within the small community of 350 residents. She also volunteered her time to write life stories/biographies for individuals she met in surrounding communities. Jane worked in various administrative/clerical positions during her time in Iowa, including at New York Life Insurance in Carroll and at Manning State Savings Bank. One of the highlights of this young city girl living life on the farm was every winter, when Larry and Jane opened their "Thiedeman Christmas Tree Farm" to the local public. Larry would cut down trees selected by customers, drag them to the house to measure them for cost, while Jane would sell her handmade Christmas wreaths and Christmas trinkets to help spread the holiday joy. Jane always loved Christmas and had a large collection of Santa decorations she enjoyed setting up around the house.

After 25 years in Iowa, Larry and Jane moved to Fayette, Missouri, where she worked at Central Methodist College and Columbia College in the Director of Development's office. During this time in Missouri, she lived close to her mother and her sister Jody and enjoyed being closer to her family. Larry and Jane made the decision to move to San Antonio, Texas, in 2007. Their daughter Megan was living there at the time and they got to spend a lot of fun times together visiting fun restaurants, wineries, and going to NBA and WNBA games, too. Larry and Jane worked together at a local wildlife sanctuary and enjoyed more activities as a couple. They both started regular exercise routines and a daily walking routine. Larry and Jane even completed the San Antonio Half Marathon together in 2008. Larry and Jane continued to enjoy their time in San Antonio attending many live concerts together, including Willie Nelson and Zac Brown. Sadly and suddenly, Larry passed away on March 11, 2011, which left Jane with many decisions to make. The couple was working towards a retirement in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a destination they both were very much looking forward to. Jane continued this dream and boldly moved to the Land of Enchantment in 2012 and purchased her home with a back patio opening up to the National Petroglyph Monument.

In Albuquerque, Jane was close to her other daughter Tamara and her daughter by another mother, Lisa Balonis. In her initial years at her new "retirement" home, Jane was very involved in local groups, reading to youth, attending adult classes with the OASIS group, taking music and singing classes and hosting many social events with Tamara. Many of these social events were to support Tamara's involvement in the AFS intercultural student exchange program, and the students Tamara hosted, Rama, Maham, Umashankari, and Malini. Tamara and Lisa enjoyed many joyful and fun times with Jane.

Jane also played host to Megan and her growing family who would travel from California to visit. Jane hosted her three grandchildren, Lucas, Jillian, and Maxwell on several occasions. She took them all to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, the zoo, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, the Rattlesnake Museum, Meow Wolf and the state capital building in Santa Fe to name just a few of their exciting times! Her grandkids also enjoyed running off into the petroglyphs and exploring the rock art and returning with trash bags as they would pick up trash along the way.

Jane enjoyed sitting on her patio in the mornings watching the hot air balloons ascend while sipping her coffee. She also cherished the beautiful sunsets in the west and the brilliance of the reflections from the Sandia Mountains to the east. Jane was at peace in this space. Jane occupied her time with writing postcards for others, sewing quilts and masks during COVID, reading books, listening to music, and of course meeting with friends for a glass of wine or a cold beer and good conversation.

Jane started to experience health battles in 2017 when she fell and injured her shoulder, resulting in a total shoulder replacement. Jane was a fighter until the end. She overcame a brain bleed in 2020 and then a traffic accident in 2022. After the accident, Jane complied with the decision to move into an assisted living facility. She still enjoyed her social interactions with other residents and sitting outside enjoying the fresh air. Tamara and Lisa pampered her often by taking her for pedicures and out to eat at her favorite restaurant, M'Tucci's. Jane even recently enjoyed a nice car ride to Santa Fe or to The Bosque. Jane was diagnosed with dementia early in 2024, but continued to live a full life that she was accustomed to.

Jane took an unfortunate fall due to another major brain bleed in her room the morning of June 3rd and her condition continued to worsen. Lisa and other friends rushed to be at her side. Tamara had been overseas and was traveling back to the states that same day. Megan and Jody made immediate plans to be at her side. Thankfully, Jane was able to acknowledge that they were by her side with either a slight hand squeeze or a wiggle of her toe. She knew she was not alone. Family members called and friends surrounded her during her last few hours on this Earth where she made so many memories. She was surrounded by family, friends, and love until her final breath in the early morning of June 5th, 2024 where she was reunited with Larry and could start their eternal life together. Jane, you will be missed by many and will never understand the impact you had on those individuals in your life.

Jane is survived by her daughters, Tamara Thiedeman, Lisa Balonis from Albuquerque and Megan Thiedeman and her children Lucas (13), Jillian (10), and Maxwell (10) from Vacaville, CA. She is also survived by her siblings, Sally Hargrove and her husband, Jim of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Larry Allison and his wife, Ruthmary of Grand Junction, Colorado; Jody Allison Lenz from Sandpoint, Idaho; and sister-in-law Joyce Neumann of Denison, Iowa. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Sharlene Wikoff and husband, Craig of Sandpoint, ID and their children, Amanda, Ben, Luke, and Bennett; Roni Pierce and her husband, Doug from Sedro Woolley, WA and their children, Ryan, Cora, and Erin; Christy Raska and her husband, Michael from Fredrickburg, Virginia and their daughters, Chloe and Michaela; Andrew Allison and his family and Andrea Allison both from Denver, CO.

Jane is preceded in death by her husband of 39 years, Larry in 2011; her father, Edward (1991); her mother, Frances (2006); her mother-in-law, Verna (1985); and her father-in-law, Orville (1999).

In lieu of flowers, Jane would appreciate donations to the Grief Center of New Mexico (https://griefnm.org/) or Ethos Literacy (https://www.ethosliteracy.org/) or any charity of your choosing that Jane would support.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jane Thiedeman, please visit our flower store.

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