Remembering Pete Thiessen
Pete Thiessen with his newborn son Jack in February 2011.
Pete Thiessen's friends will remember him for his fierce love for his children and music.
"He was a drummer," long-time friend Michael Moore said. "Even just sitting at a table, he was always banging his fingers and making a beat. He loved music and was an entertainer."
But Thiessen's love of music paled in comparison to his love for his kids.
"He loved them entirely," Moore said. "That is all he wanted to do, was to look after his kids."
Thiessen, 29, died Saturday morning in a house fire on Washington Street. The second floor of a triplex where Thiessen lived was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at about 5 a.m.
Thiessen was pulled from the fire and rushed to hospital, but it was too late to save him.
Friends for 17 years, Moore said Thiessen was a fun-loving individual always aiming to spend more time with his children. Thiessen was a core member of a group called Single Fathers Brantford that was profiled in last week's Brant News.
Group co-founder Michelle DaSilva-Hyrski said Thiessen was supposed to be among group members who recently came to the Brant News office for an interview.
"He was kicking himself for missing it because he really liked what the group was doing and providing for him," DaSilva-Hyrski said. "He was supposed to present us with our group logo at our meeting (Sunday)."
Instead, the Single Fathers Group met on Sunday to plan a memorial fundraiser for Thiessen.
"There will be a benefit for him, we are just working out the details this week," DaSilva-Hyrski said. "We want to help pay for the cost of the funeral and then do something else for his kids, too."
Thiessen leaves behind a little girl, Emily Rose, and two sons, Jack and Corbin. He is also survived by his parents and two sisters.
Moore said he has plenty of good memories of spending time with Thiessen, but recalled that it was Thiessen's sense of humour that made them fast friends.
"I still remember the first day I met him," Moore said. "Walking up to his house, there was this nerdy kid in a Montreal Canadiens shirt with big glasses and a mushroom cut. We just poked fun at each other for five minutes and have been best friends ever since."
Often going by the nickname "Peteljuice," Thiessen would clown around to brighten other people's day.
"We had one of our single fathers meetings outside downtown during a nice day," DaSilva-Hyrski said. "One of the other fathers brought their kid to the meeting and Pete immediately started juggling for him."
Visitation for Thiessen will take place Wednesday, March 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at McCleister Funeral Home on Park Road North. His funeral will take place at McCleister on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Brantford police said they are awaiting the results of an autopsy before releasing details of the investigation into the fire.