KILMARNOCK—Sidney Wilson Tiesenga, MD, left this world on August 14 after a short battle with metastatic cancer.
He leaves behind his wife, Gail Louise Tiesenga, light of his life, and partner for 58 years; three daughters, Anne Louise Hooper (Brett Andrew), Jennifer Lynn Vicente (Norman Eric) and Elizabeth Sydney Tiesenga; three granddaughters, Lauren Grace, Catherine Louise and Christine Marie Hooper; and brothers-in-law, John Chisholm (Beth) and Robert Chisholm (Linda)
Sid was born in Holland, Michigan, in 1940 as the only child of Sidney S. Tiesenga and J. Louise Tiesenga. He graduated from Holland High School and attended Kalamazoo College, where he met Gail. He transferred to the University of Michigan to complete his bachelor’s, persuading his future wife to follow him.
They were married days before he embarked on his medical degree program at University of Michigan. After graduation he completed his internship at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and was immediately drafted. He spent the next eight years in the Army which included his residency in orthopedics at Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, D.C., and chief of orthopedics at Moncreif Army Hospital, Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C..
He left the military in 1977 and set up his practice in Chesapeake, where he practiced for 29 years. During that time he served as chief of staff at Maryview Hospital, as well as serving as a civilian physician for 20 years with the Coast Guard. He was active in the AMA serving on the local level as president of the Portsmouth Academy of Medicine.
Outside of medicine, he served as president of the Olde Towne Civic League promoting the renovation, restoration and livability of the old homes in his neighborhood. He purchased a cottage in the Northern Neck in 1994 as a retreat with a 10-year plan, renovated it and moved to the Neck permanently on New Years Eve 2003.
Retirement included model railroading, handcrafting his steam locomotives, rolling stock and buildings, and woodworking, furnishing his home with his handcrafted masterpieces. He especially enjoyed crafting those small pieces that filled a need for family and friends.
He was an avid, lifelong sailor and especially enjoyed exploring the Chesapeake Bay in his catboat. Wildlife observation was a hobby he cultivated, noting in an Audubon book every new bird he spotted. Good music, especially opera, remained an important part of his life. While in Portsmouth, he and Gail enjoyed housing singers for the VA Opera.
Sid’s faith was formed in childhood in the Dutch Reformed Church. He was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock and served for 10 years with Kairos International, bringing his faith to the incarcerated.
Passionate about his God, politics, his country and treasured military service, Sid’s greatest love was his family. He was the keeper and expert teller of many rich, family stories, and a beloved husband, father and grandpa to his girls.
Viewing will be at Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock, from 2-4 p.m. Friday, August 20. Service and interment will be private. A celebration of Sid’s life will be held at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Kairos Global, 102 S. Tejon St., Suite 1100, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 or The Grace Trust, Grace Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1059, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.