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Biography of Mary S. Thelen: Home

Mary Susan Hoppenjans (Thelen) on August 19, 1937, became the second of five children born to Mr. and Mrs. William H. Hoppenjans.  Affectionately known to her family as Sue, she grew up in her birthplace of Covington, Kentucky, was an excellent student and leader, and attended Villa Madonna Academy.

On August 8, 1959, Mary Susan Hoppenjans married George J. Thelen.  The Thelens lived in northern Kentucky and shared their lives with four children – Maribeth, Jennifer Anne, Jay Paul, and Rebecca Sue.  The Thelen children were educated in Catholic schools through college; are all married; and have given their parents sixteen grandchildren.

Mrs. Thelen’s life journey was blessed by her wonderful family, however, it was also marked with valiant, faith filled battles to maintain her mental and physical health.

From her early 20’s through the rearing of her children, she suffered with anxiety, depression, and alcoholism. After several attempts to get assistance, Mrs. Thelen in 1985 entered a rehabilitation program and successfully returned to a happy and healthful lifestyle. Ten years later, in 1995, Mrs. Thelen was diagnosed with cancer; received the various treatments, and remained determined to fight despite the pain and difficulty.  Mrs. Thelen died on May 29, 1996.

It is in tribute to Mrs. Thelen’s successful lifelong battle with anxiety and depression that Mr. Thelen and their family became benefactors and supported the naming of the Library in her memory and honor.