Helen Thistle

November 23, 1926 ~ February 26, 2018 (age 91)

Helen Thistle, age 91, of Merrill, passed away on Monday, February 26, 2018 at Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services.  Helen was born on November 23, 1926 to the late Richard and Elizabeth (O’Connor) Hennessy in Excelsior, WI.  She met and fell in love with Glenn Thistle, and the two exchanged wedding vows on July 28, 1953 in Muscoda.  Sadly, he preceded her in death on September 29, 1989. Helen had earned her Bachelor’s degree in education and was a primary school teacher until November 1971 when she and Glenn purchased the Prairie Motel in Merrill, WI. Helen felt it was important for her children to do well in school and she would enjoy reading to her students.  She enjoyed traveling with her sisters.  Helen would cherish her time that she spent with her husband at their cottage on Somo Lake.  Family time was a priority in Helen’s life, and she like to spend time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She will be greatly missed.

Helen is survived by her daughters: Sherry (Randy Hartnett) Thistle of Champlin, MN and Nancy (Richard) Dabbert of Merrill, sons: Jeff (Kerrie) Thistle of Menasha and Mike (Tammy) Thistle of Merrill, grandchildren: Daniel and James Hartnett, Kristen Spindler, Dr. Kari (Jason) Kruchko, Ashley (Eric) Mangold. Dr. Megan Thistle and Matt Thistle, 4 great granddaughters, sister: Rose Hennessy- Chitwood, brother-in-laws: Robert Thistle and Paul Kinney and sister-in-law: Reginna Hennessy.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband: Glenn Thistle, sisters: Mary Killoy and Elaine Kinney, brother: Frank Hennessy and grandchildren: Malcolm and Ian Thistle.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Helen will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 11am at St. Francis Catholic Xavier Church in Merrill.  Father Chris Kemp will officiate.  Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10am, and continue until the time of Mass.  Burial will follow at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, family requests that donations in Helen’s name be directed to Pine Crest Nursing Home in Merrill.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at



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