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James “J.T.” Theis

December 18, 2018

James L. “J.T.” Theis 83, died Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Via Christ,  St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas.  He was born April 3, 1935 in Ft. Scott, Kansas and was adopted by Nick and Marcella (Gresl) Theis.  On September 20, 1958 he married Phyllis L. Rau in Colwich, Kansas and she survives.


J.T. was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton and retired from the Newton Fire/EMS in 1985 after 28 years of service. Three weeks ago J.T. retired from Dillons where he worked nearly 25 years during and following his retirement from the fire department. He also worked the family wheat and milo farm near Halstead until all but the family homestead was sold in 2000. 


He proudly served his country and was a U.S. Army Veteran.


J.T. enjoyed spending time on the golf course and watching a good baseball game. He was also an avid K.U. Basketball fan. He would record many of the games to re watch and discuss with his grandsons and son in law. During his kids growing up years he coached baseball and basketball teams


Spending time with his family was a joy for J.T. and he greatly looked forward to family gatherings. He worked hard though out his life to provide for his family and was a wonderful, caring and giving father and husband. J.T. was a social butterfly and always had a smile and joke or story to tell.


He is survived by his wife Phyllis of the home; daughter and son in law Becky and Brian Baird of Newton; daughter Brenda and son in law Frank Graham of Derby; daughter in law Michelle Theis of Halstead and one son Kenneth Theis of Texas; sister Jean Struble of Ponca City, OK.  He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.


J.T. is preceded in death by his parents and two sons Pat and Greg Theis


Funeral Mass will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton with The Reverend Devin Burns celebrant.  Recitation of the Holy Rosary will precede the Mass at 9:30 a.m., at the church.  Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. A private graveside committal will be in the St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Newton.


Memorials are suggested to Newton Fire/EMS or Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home.


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19 thoughts on “James “J.T.” Theis

  1. I have worked with this man for 18 years he always made my day with with his amazing outlook on life . I was always happy when we worked together he told great stories and jokes he loved his wife and family more than anything . I will truly miss you JT .

  2. Mr. Theis was a very heartwarming kind soul. I will miss his warm smile and all the conversations he shared with me and many others. Now may you rest in peace and celebrate a new life in heaven. ❤

  3. Jim worked w/ my dad, lacy holdeman as firemen. He was always had a smile on his face at dillons. Prayers to your family.

  4. Jim worked w/ my dad, lacy holdeman as firemen. He was always had a smile on his face at dillons. Prayers to your family.

  5. prayers for the whole family as they greive yhe lost of a great man i enjoyed seeing him at dillions south store he was always very helpful may the family find comfort espically grandson colton your in my thoughts and prayers as well

  6. He was a good husband to my sister and the rock of the family always taking care of everyone.He loved his basketball team,his children and grandchildern were so blessed to have him in their life.Heaven is blessed to have him!!

  7. J.t was avery nice man he always had an awesome smile when i stopped at s. Dillon’s for groceries and now may he rest in peace and he”ll be very well missed .God bless you in heaven

  8. Thank you for your kind words. We treasure each and every story about JT. He was an amazing man. He saved lives, loved hard, and made many memories.

  9. He was a great man and hard worker! We may not of agreed with what Kansas team was better but we could always joke about it with each other. He made Dillions a better place to work/shop. He could always put a smile on your face no matter what you were going through! Gonna miss you JT!

  10. I shop at south Dillons and met JT there. He was always so kind and always smiling. Our family lives on the north end of town but we would drive to south Dillons because of JT. He was a special person who my family and I will miss. Our prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.

  11. I worked with JT for 9 and 3/4 yrs. He always had a smile for everyone. He liked to help carry out groceries. It gave him a chance to talk basketball and football with anyone that would listen. He loved his wife so much. He always said he couldn’t do enough for her, because she had the hard job of helping raise 5 children. I know the Lord needed help in heaven because He called JT home. I will miss my friend very much.

  12. My husband and I met Jim and Phyllis at St. Mary’s Church soon after we moved to Newton some 35 years ago. He had the warmest, welcoming and most infectious smile. He made everyone feel comfortable and loved where ever he was. He was a very special gentle man. Prayers for the family in this tremendous loss. We pray your many memories will comfort and sustain you until your family meets again in heaven.

  13. Jim was a fellow church brother, neighbor and frequent customer for my husband to work on his cars. He was one of the nicest guys on earth. He always struck up a great conversation no matter how things were going or how busy he was. He always waved as I drove passed the house to go home! He will be forever missed by us!

  14. The final bell has sounded and “J.T.” is responding to the call.

    Rest James, until you hear at dawn,
    the low, clear reveille of God.

    Thank you for your service to this nation.

  15. I wanted to say to his wife Phyllis that he was the sweetest man that I’ve ever known when I worked at South Dillon he was so nice to me and he always had a fabulous smile on his face I will miss him dearly and Jesus called him home to heaven God bless you Phyllis

  16. Prayers to your family during this difficult time. Our families were in St. Mary school together. I treasure the many memories.

  17. The KSFFA Auxiliary are sorry for your loss. We thank you for the many years of service J.T. gave to the community as a firefighter. Our prayers are with you and family.

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