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al thielman grave

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(This piece first appeared in Men's Health in September, 1995.

Minding My Father


We buried Dad with the driver from the set of clubs I kept. To the driver's shaft, I attached a key chain I purchased in St. Andrews, Scotland. (When I told Dad I was going there for the 1990 British Open, he asked, "Is that a long way?")

He was laid to rest according to his wishes at Fort Snelling National Military Cemetery near Minneapolis. The fourth-busiest national cemetery, it has been the last stop to veterans since 1951. There have been more than 180,000 burials on the 200 acres as of 2009.

Among the famous there are former Minnesota Twins' broadcaster Halsey Hall, Heisman Trophy winner Bruce Smith, and hockey great John Mariucci.

Dad lies at Snelling with my Mom, Ruth; her sister, Georgia; an uncle, Roy Nelson; and another uncle, Joe, who by the turn of a card had the last name "Alzheimer."