The lasting memory of long-time Belleville banker Louis Tiemann is not limited to his four decades of work in the local financial industry but his time and contributions to the community he loved.
Tiemann, who died Sunday at 88 from natural causes, was more interested in contributing his time and talents toward the betterment of Belleville and East St. Louis, said his wife, Joyce Tiemann. The couple had four children and were married 58 years, but not once did he talk about work at the bank.
“He didn’t talk business when he was at home. Whatever he did at work stayed at work,” Joyce Tiemann said. “He just had the interest of all of the residents of Belleville and all of the residents of East St. Louis. That’s all he cared about. He wasn’t worried about his business or anything like that. He wanted the people to have the best there is. It was hard to do the work, and he worked hard at it.”
Tiemann was born in Belleville on Aug. 13, 1927. He worked his way up from the mail room to the board room as president of the Belleville National Bank.
The bank changed hands and names over the years. The bank became known as General Bank, where in the early 1980s, Kevin Pesko first entered Belleville banking and worked for Tiemann. Today as the president of The Bank of Belleville, Pesko remembers Tiemann
“I was fortunate to have worked for Louis,” Pesko said. “I think he had a lot of respect in the banking community and I thought a lot of him and learned a lot of things from him.”
Following his retirement from the world of finance, Tiemann next volunteered his time to work with Proud Partners, which was founded in 1986. Tiemann was a charter member after he had grown disgusted with the litter that he saw lying along the local roads and streets.
Pesko also remembers Tiemann’s zest for his community and the tireless hours he contributed toward enhancing the landscape.
“He was really the energy of Proud Partners and got it going,” Pesko said. “I think he was pretty proud of that.”
Tiemann is also past president, current secretary-treasurer; chairman of the Shiloh Police Commission and the former president and current secretary-treasurer of the East St. Louis Community Fund, which funds college and vocational school scholarships for local students. The fund also helped clean up the city and partnered with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the University of Missouri-St. Louis to establish a full-service eye clinic in the city.
It was this work in the community, Joyce Tiemann said, that her husband was most proud of.
“I have to say he really thought a lot of Belleville,” she said. “He really tried to do the best thing for them. Whatever he did was for the benefit of the community. He really worked hard at that. He would drive every neighborhood up and down the streets, side streets and alleys, whereever. He worked very hard at everything he did, and he did very good job. He was just looking for the betterment of the people of Belleville and in East St. Louis.”
“It didn’t matter who you were. He thought about everybody. He loved his community.”
A visitation will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Union United Methodist Church in Belleville. The funeral will follow at the church.
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 618-239-2526.