Cover photo for Warren Thiem's Obituary
Warren Thiem Profile Photo
1941 Warren 2022

Warren Thiem

February 27, 1941 — February 15, 2022

"Going to the woods is going home."

-John Muir

Warren Richard Thiem, 80, went home to be with his heavenly father in his version of the "woods" or forest on February 15th, 2022 after a painful fight with cancer. Despite his pain, Warren was stubborn and fought hard for his family. He wanted each and every member to know how much he loved them. Warren will forever be known as Butch, Hun, Dad, Grandpa, Gampa, and Great-Grandpa. His ability to own and wear each of these names or roles will be felt for generations.

Warren was born February 27th, 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Ralph and Mildred Thiem. They later moved to San Bernardino.

Warren attended Utah State University where he studied Forestry and graduated in 1963. He then accepted a job in Minden, Nevada with the Toiyabe National Forest as a Forester. Here is where Warren's love and passion for the outdoors came to life. He was always extremely warm, outgoing, and always ready to lend a helping hand. Warren made several lifelong Forest Service friends in these early years, such as Bill Britton, Larry Schmidt, and Barry Davis. Whether it was boating out of San Diego, marking trees in Hope and Charity Valleys, sailing in the San Juan Islands, or riding his motorcycle through South America with Stan Towne and Jack Wyckoff, Warren was always ready for adventure. Shortly after graduating, Warren became a Tactical Officer in the National Guard. He and Barry would go on to join the Reserves and teach young cadets at a Reserve Officer Candidate School at Fort Lewis, Washington.

In early 1967, Warren found himself frequenting the Reno Coffee Shop in the Riverside Hotel to eat a brownie, drink a glass of milk, and flirt with "the most beautiful lady I had ever seen." On June 30th, 1967, Warren married his forever sweetheart, Sara, in Carson City, Nevada. Here Warren quickly became a father to two beautiful daughters; Mary Ann and Lisa. Later Warren and Sara welcomed a baby boy, Wayne in January of 1969.

In the early 1970s, Warren received a Master's Degree in Economics and after working for the Forest Service in Washington DC as an Economist he became the Regional Planner for Region 4 in the Forest Service in Ogden Utah. Warren's career with Forest Service was built on his love for adventures in the outdoors which led the family to various cities in the country: Nevada, California, and Virginia. He retired from the Forest Service and Montana became the family's final home base.

In 1984, Warren and Sara became owners of "Thiem's Cafe" in West Yellowstone, Montana. Here the two lived on Hebgen Lake where boating, fishing, and the outdoors were again at Warren's fingertips.

In 1988, Warren and Sara began snowbirding to Naples, Florida. Along the annual trip to and from Naples, the highway duo would find favorite campgrounds and would make friends in each new area. His desire to drive through the country was supported by Sara and her desire to be in Naples. Together they fueled their love for camping in new parks and packing a camper full.

Warren and Sara built their dream home in Gallatin Gateway, Montana in '96/'97 with views of the Bridger Mountains and Spanish Peaks. Here Warren was able to appreciate his land by planting trees and tending to his gardens.

In the spring, Warren and Sara would come back to Montana, where Warren loved to take his boat out fishing with his grandkids and great-grandchildren, hike up in Hyalite with his granddaughters, or sip coffee or a rum drink on his porch while holding the hand of his one true love; Sara.

To keep busy, Warren took odd jobs from cashiering to guiding airboat tours in the Everglades and surrounding areas to working in a bait store. He even filled in a substitute park ranger for his granddaughter's class field trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Warren was a warm and caring soul who believed in not having many friends, but a few good life-long friends.- Barry and Karen Davis, Bill Britton, Stan, and Shirley Towne, Jack and Gabi White, Larry and Phyllis Schmidt, and Doug and Dee Taylor were a few of the greats.

Warren is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sara; his daughters Mary Ann Neely her husband Mike and Lisa Reibsome and her husband Skip; his son Wayne Thiem and his wife, Cheryl; his sisters-in-law, Celeste Navara and Mary Lazar; his nine grandchildren, Yana Neely, Jessie Nesset, Ted Arts, Emily Barnhardt, Benjamin Arts, Michael Neely, Kasey Jane Thiem, Shelby Ann Thiem, Kelsey Marie Schneiter; and his five great-grandchildren, Brayden, Tori, BrodyB, Shaylee Ann and Townes Warren. He is preceded in death by his mother Mildred and father Ralph and many friends and relatives.

A celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2022 in the mountains of Montana, where he will be surrounded by everything that made him happy: family, friends, trees, mountains, and maybe even a rum drink with a (maraschino) cherry on top!

"In the woods we return to reason and faith."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Warren Thiem, please visit our flower store.


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