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At 1:34PM on Monday, August 10, 2020 , Thien viet Nguyen left his earthly body to be ascended into heaven where his family is comforted in knowing that the Lord had prepared him a seat. Thien, or Tim as he was often called, was born in Vietnam in 1949 to Nguyen Viet Quoi and Truong Thi No. He had a happy childhood with his large Catholic family in Danang. Thien proudly and courageously defended South Vietnam as an interpreter of the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion during the Vietnam War. He was recognized as an American Ally and escaped to the United States in 1975.
In America he studied Mechanical Engineering at South Oklahoma City Junior College. He received his Associate Degree in Drafting in 1983. After a short courtship, Thien married his beloved wife, Xuan Kim Ly in 1979 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. They went on to have four children; Anthony, Jennifer, Kimberly and Andrew. Throughout their childhood he worked at GM in the overnight shift. He realized that he wanted to be a larger active part in his family’s lives and received his Real Estate License where he was able to help the Vietnamese Community find homes in Oklahoma City. You would be hard pressed to find anyone on Classen who doesn’t know who he is.
Prior to his death, Thien was working on writing his memoirs. For years he shared with his children that he had a story to tell and he wanted to have his book published one day. In his story he talks about the hardships of war, the heartache of leaving his country and the overwhelming feeling of success as he raised a beautiful family. He shares of how he found a home in a foreign country and how that country helped shape him into the man he became.
To many, Thien was a friend, but he was more than that. He was a loving and devoted husband who loved to take his wife on date nights, weekend casino trips, cruises and cross country road trips to visit all of their friends. He was a father that all fathers should strive to be. He was playful, handsome, enthusiastic, creative, vô duyên (silly), loveable, selfless, a family man, a jokester and always ready to help anyone in need. But most importantly, his favorite role to date, was being a grandfather to his 7 grandchildren; Mia, Boston, Ella, Quinn, Jaime, Jesse and Elliott. Nothing brought more joy to him than being with his family. The Saturday before he passed everyone had gathered to celebrate a birthday. Thien swam, ate and laughed for hours. He left that night knowing that the best parts of him lie within the faces of his grandchildren. The one word to best describe Thien was PRESENT. He was present for every important moment in all of his family’s life. He showed up, cheered and celebrate them every chance he got. It is his family’s turn to repay him for every ounce of love he has given over the years. His joy was apparent, his love was always felt and his PRESENCE will be missed.
Thien was a devout Catholic. You would often find him in a pew in the back of the sanctuary at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral with his daughters and grandchildren. Thien’s soul was prepared on Sunday, August 9, 2020 when his Last Rites were performed and he is now rejoicing in the arms of the Lord. His family fully mourns his absence but celebrates the amazing life and legacy he leaves behind.
He was preceded in death by:
Father Nguyen Viet Quoi, Mother, Truong Thi No
Mother in Law Tran Thi Le
Brother- Tao Nguyen
Sister Loan Banh
He is survived by:
Wife, Xuan Kim Nguyen
Son Anthony-Quyen Viet Nguyen and wife Chrissy
Daughter Jennifer Thien-Kim Statler and husband Doug
Daughter Kimberly Xuan-Anh Carr and husband Wayne
Son Andrew-Quang Viet Nguyen and wife Erin
Grandchildren, Mia Tran Statler, Boston Viet Carr, Ella Kim Statler, Quinn Viet Carr, Jaime Viet Nguyen, Jesse Dale Nguyen and Elliott James Nguyen
Sisters Xuan Nguyen (California), Huong Kimball (Washington State), Hue Nguyen (Oklahoma)
Brother Loi Nguyen (Washington State), Quyen Nguyen (Vietnam)