'It was the last thing that any of us expected': Peoria realtor dies of aneurysm at 44_laser freckle removal korea

Leslie Renken, Journal Star·5 min read
Peoria real estate agent Michelle Thies recently posed for promotional photos for her new job with Amy Weaver and the Knell Group, which she started in January. Thies, 44, died of a brain aneurysm Feb. 23.
Peoria real estate agent Michelle Thies recently posed for promotional photos for her new job with Amy Weaver and the Knell Group, which she started in January. Thies, 44, died of a brain aneurysm Feb. 23.

PEORIA – Michelle Thies had a way of making friends wherever she went – a fact that was evident when more than 500 people attended her visitation.

A real estate agent, a mother of two and a lifelong resident of central Illinois, Thies, 44, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm Feb. 23.

The well-attended visitation was a great comfort to her family.

“Most all of them had a great story to tell, and we greatly appreciated them,” said Thies’ father, Dennis Grieder. “We knew she had lots of friends, but you don’t really get the total scope of it until you see something like that. There were friends and teachers from grade school that had stories about her. She made an impression from the time she hit the ground. There were people, college friends of hers, one friend who ... got in his vehicle and drove here from South Dakota and turned right around and had to get back to South Dakota the next morning. And many, many friends from the Chicago area. She had a group of college girlfriends that were like sisters to her.”

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Truly interested in people

Theresa Delano, who became friends with Thies after moving into her neighborhood in 2017, said Thies befriended her at their very first meeting.

"At our daughters’ preschool graduation, she told me exactly which house was hers, and that I had an open invitation to her house every Friday night," said Delano. "She always had the right questions to ask. If I was going through a hard time, especially last year, losing two people very close to me, I would sit there until 2 a.m. in her garage chatting. She made you feel like you could just open up because she was so warm and welcoming, and truly interested in people.”

Thies grew up in Carlock and Normal, attending Normal High School and later attending Southern Illinois University, where she studied psychology, said her father. After graduating from college, she got a job in Peoria at Children’s Home, where she met her husband, Brandon Thies.

(editor:)

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