SANDERSVILLE, Ga. - Mr. Paul Frederick Thiele died at the age of 93, Tuesday, November 27, 2007, at University Hospital in Augusta, of respiratory failure.
At passing, Mr. Thiele was the most revered leader in the kaolin industry. Mr. Thiele was born on August 5, 1914, in Appleton, Wisc. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in engineering, Mr. Thiele established the Thiele Kaolin Company. Since its founding in 1946, Thiele Kaolin has grown to be one of the world's largest kaolin mining and processing companies. Upon his passing, Mr. Thiele served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Thiele Kaolin. Mr. Thiele prided himself on serving his adopted home of Sandersville. During 1968, he took the lead in developing the Georgia Surface Mined Land Use Act in 1968, which contributed to environmental preservation. In 1973, Paul Thiele co-founded the Georgia Mining Association. He also co-founded the Georgia Association of Independent Colleges and has been a strong supporter of the Mercer University Engineering Department. Beyond establishing one of the largest employers in Washington County, Paul Thiele was active in the Washington County Historical Society, the Community Concert Association, Chairman of the Memorial Hospital Authority and was a member of the Tennille United Methodist Church where he was a board member and choir director.
Paul F. Thiele is survived by his wife, Loretha Akins Thiele. Paul and Loretha Thiele were local philanthropists in the areas of education, religion and industry. Mr. Thiele was especially renowned for his extensive support of local churches. Paul Thiele was a member of the Sandersville Music Club, as well as a board member of the Georgia Federation of Music Clubs.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Tennille Methodist Church, P.O. Box 265, Tennille, Georgia 31089 and the Georgia Mining Foundation Paul F. Thiele Scholarship Fund, 113 Arkwright Landing, Macon, Georgia 31210.
Funeral services for Mr. Thiele were held at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 1, in the First Baptist Church of Sandersville with the burial in the Brownwood Cemetery in Sandersville.
May and Smith Funeral Directors in Sandersville was in charge of arrangements.