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Prominent Kelowna homeless advocate dies

Thiessen regularly fed and clothed those living on city streets
JohnThiessen was a tireless advocate for Kelowna’s homeless. (Facebook)

A man well known to Kelowna residents and the homeless community has died.

John Thiessen regularly fed and clothed people living on city streets, and used social media to raise awareness of the constant need to help others.

His wife, Debra, announced on Facebook on Dec. 4 that he had died.

“Sharing very sad news. John Thiessen who has been my best friend since I was 19 and my husband for 34 years passed away Dec. 2 at the young age of 60 from yet another heart attack. Funny, kind, caring, empathetic and talented to name a few of his qualities. We find comfort knowing he is no longer in pain. Hopefully someone will take over the much needed caring for the unhoused on the streets of Kelowna in his absence.”

Thiessen’s daughter Katie also took to Facebook to share the family’s grief.

“My dad, was truly one of a kind. Kind (he spoke a lot about kindness), compassionate, empathetic, weird (so weird), resilient, stubborn, generous, thoughtful, friendly, goofy, and tender hearted. I will remember him for all these things and more. In memory of my dad, give someone a compliment, a hug, or give something to someone less fortunate than you today.”

A celebration of life for Thiessen will be held in January.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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