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Priya Theilen

Priya D. Theilen, age 43, of Willmar, died unexpectedly Monday evening, September 14, at her home.

Memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 21, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Willmar. Interment will be in the First Lutheran Cemetery of Norway Lake. Visitation will from 5-7 PM on Sunday, September 20, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar and at the church one hour prior to the service.

Priya Darshani Theilen was born on February 3, 1972, in India. In 1975, she was adopted by Carsten and Karen Bjornstad. In 1975, Priya was baptized in Kodaikanal, South India and confirmed in Christ as a young adult. In 1977, she immigrated to the United States and received United States citizenship in 1985. Priya grew up and received her education in Birch Run, MI., Wausau, WI., and Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. On January 13, 1993, she was united in marriage to Robert D. Theilen and they made their home in Clear Lake, Iowa. In 1997, they moved to Willmar. Priya was employed most recently at Home Depot and Wal-Mart. She was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church and active in the choral program. Priya was also active in the JOPPA program in Willmar. Her hobbies included gardening, painting, sewing and quilting. She also enjoyed music, playing the guitar, piano and flute. Priya will be best remembered for her lively spirit and one that would always make you happy. To God be the glory!

She is survived by her loving husband, Robert of Willmar; her father, Carsten Bjornstad of Scranton, PA.; three brothers, Rev. Kristian (and Monica) Bjornstad of Scranton, PA., Harlan (and Jennifer) Bjornstad of Valparaiso, IN., and Jacob (and Caryn) Bjornstad of Hutchinson; several nieces and nephews and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Karen in 2008.

Cemetery Details

First Lutheran of Norway Lake Cemetery
6338 County Road 40 NW
New London, MN, 56273


SEP 20

Peterson Brothers Funeral Home

700 Becker Avenue Southwest

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


SEP 21. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Redeemer Lutheran Church

1401 SW 6th Street

Willmar, MN, US, 56201



SEP 21. 11:00 AM

Redeemer Lutheran Church

1401 SW 6th Street

Willmar, MN, US, 56201


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Priya Theilen, please visit our flower store.


I remember stopping by the Joppa office and just talking and laughing, she had a good sense of humor and a great laugh.

Barry Huisman - September 19, 2015 at 09:25 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I too remember Priya from Ukarumpa, PNG. May God give you all His peace and comfort at this time.

Marlene Schutter - September 18, 2015 at 07:17 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Priyas laughter and smile will always be remembered. I can clearly recall the way in highschool that she could lighten the mood with her quick wit and contagious laughter. She showed great perseverance through much suffering and developed a compassion for others from that. My sincerest condolonces to her family and friends for the hole she has left in your lives.

Gail Larsen - September 17, 2015 at 09:11 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

My thoughts and prayers are with your family today and in the days, weeks, and months to come. I will miss the phone calls and online chats with Priya. Her friendship has always been a blessing to me even though miles have separated us.

Gloria Nelson - September 18, 2015 at 06:33 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I am sorry for your loss. I knew Priya in high school and it is her smile that I remember clearly. She was a friend to all and will be missed. Our prayers will be with her family and friends during this time.

Betsy Boulware - September 18, 2015 at 06:50 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I loved the way Priya and Rob welcomed me to their house at the Holidays. She made me feel right at home. Priya your life ended too soon and I will miss you very much.

Lori Scheeler - September 18, 2015 at 10:12 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Lori Scheeler lit a candle in memory of Priya D. Theilen

Lori Scheeler - September 18, 2015 at 10:10 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

I rember going to Redwood falls and hiking around with Priya and Rob and everyone else. Priya was always a joy to be around and I will miss you. Ron (John) Schmitz

Ron John Schmitz - September 18, 2015 at 05:45 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Priya was a good friend of our daughters, Collette and Maureen at Ukarumpa High School in Papua New Guinea - and she visited us many times there, and will be missed by all of the Cooper family.

Russ & Mary Cooper - September 18, 2015 at 07:55 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Lord Jesus, I come before you with sadness of heart, I may have only known your daughter for a short while. But she was always smiling and happy on the outside and You Lord only knew the inside. Lord we may never understand why these tragedies happen. But we do know that she is with you under the shelter of your wings. Lord I would like to lift up her husband, family and friends during this tragic loss. Lord bring them comfort, peace, reassurance, strength and understanding in this time of great sadness. She will be missed by everyone here and one day we will meet her again. In Your Holy name Jesus I pray and ask of these requests, amen.

Matt Anderson - September 18, 2015 at 11:51 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

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