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Lou Theiss remembered at St. Anastasia’s Church

Theiss, 75, died Dec. 29 at an assisted-living facility for victims of Alzheimer's disease in Bremerton, Wash.

In his eulogy, Louis Theiss Jr. described his father as "a man who couldn't say no to a worthy project."

"This world is a better place because Lou Theiss lived here," his son said. "Each time one of us contributes to our community we can honor his memory."

The World War II veteran who grew up in Bayside and lived in Douglaston led an active civic life by working with or contributing to countless Bayside and Queens groups.

The elder Theiss, a certified accountant, served on the boards of the Bayside Historical Society, the Bayside American Legion Post, Community Board 11, the state Northeast Queens Nature and Historical Preservation Commission, and the Bayside Ambulance Corps. Theiss' activities also included the presidency of the Queens Chamber of Commerce from 1991 to 1993, the top post of the Kiwanis International Foundation from 1988 to 1994, the Boy Scouts of America, the Flushing Cemetery Association, and fund-raising for Queensborough Community College.

After the funeral Mass, which was attended by Borough President Claire Shulman and various other civic leaders, Bayside community activist Frank Skala expressed grief for Theiss.

"This is a sad day," said Skala, who once worked for Lou Theiss' parents. "He was a man for all seasons in a very real way."

Lou Theiss Jr., the eldest of Theiss' five children, remembered his father by telling those assembled at St. Anastasia's of some private family memories.

"He was president and chief executive officer of the Blue Blanket Club," Theiss said with a teary smile as he described the childhood family group. "He'd line us kids up and convene the meeting, and make us laugh.

"Our dad loved to sing," he said. On family vacations "he'd sing the whole way there and the whole way back."

Calling his father a lifelong Eagle Scout, Lou Theiss Jr. said "it's a rare thing for someone to go through his life and be like that."

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