Richard L. "Rick" Thiel, 56, a resident of Fort Wayne, died at 5:07 p. m. on Friday, May 2, 2008, at the family residence in Eel River Township. He had been in declining health since October. Mr. Thiel was born in Fort Wayne on July 31, 1951, a son of Lewis and Valera (Lohman) Thiel. He spent his formative years in Fort Wayne, and graduated from Northside High School in 1969. On October 13, 1979 he was married in Huntertown to Betty J. "BJ" Dazey, and spent his married life in Fort Wayne. He was employed as a locomotive engineer for Norfolk & Southern Railroad for 37 years. He was a member of St. Joseph United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, and in his leisure time enjoyed Indiana University basketball, Indianapolis Colts football, and most especially loved spending time with his beloved family. The surviving relatives include his wife Betty "BJ" Thiel; his son Eric Thiel of Kingman, Ariz; his daughter Erin (Rob) Niman of Fort Wayne; two sisters Sara (Dick) Conrow of Churubusco and Becky (life partner Gwen Ostrander) Shedd of LaOtto; three brothers Dan (Mary) Thiel of Garrett, Jon (Margaret) Thiel of Auburn, and Dave (Barbara) Thiel of Garrett; grandchildren Robby Niman, Wesley Niman, Braylon J. Niman, and Parker Lynn Niman; and several nieces and nephews. His parents preceded him in death. Funeral services will be held at 11 a. m. Tuesday at the St. Joseph United Methodist Church, 6004 Reed Road, with Pastor Russ Abel, officiating. The family will receive friends at Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco on Monday from 2 to 8 p. m., or at the church after 9 a. m. Tuesday. Interment will be in the Riverview Cemetery, Allen County. The family requests that memorials be directed to Parkview Home Health & Hospice, 2270 Lake Avenue, #200, Fort Wayne, INe 46805. ****************************************** To leave a condolence for the family in Mr. Thiel's memory, please click on "Condolences" below. . .