119 Third Street Southwest ~ Rugby, North Dakota ~ 58368-1797
Chapel of the Cross ~ Towner, North Dakota
Jon M. Stork - President / Licensed Director

Phone: 701.776.6381 ~ 701.537.5130
Fax: 701.776.5916
email: afhrugbytowner@gondtc.com


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Raymond Olin "Shorty" Thorson

Raymond “Shorty” Olin Thorson, 92, Towner, passed away August 4, 2018, at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby, ND. Shorty was born on June 22, 1926 in Rugby, the son of Andrew and Olga Thorson. He grew up on a farm just South of Towner and attended all twelve years of school in Towner.  He graduated in 1944 and continued to work on the farm.  Shorty and Yvonne Hageman, were married on July 30, 1950. They were blessed with 5 children, David, Connie, Hal, Carlen, and Scott. In 1959 Shorty and Yvonne moved their family to a ranch north of Towner, where they spent over 55 years.


Shorty was a life-long rancher in the Towner area and a good steward of the land.  In addition to his love for his wife and family, he had a deep passion for the ranching way of life and everything it had to offer.  He also had a great love for sports, whether it was participating as a young man himself, offering encouragement to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, or supporting local youth in their athletic careers.  Shorty and Yvonne attended hundreds of sporting events.  Shorty was also a fan of the sport of rodeo and can be credited as one of the charter members of the Towner Rodeo Association.  He took great pride in the annual 4th of July parade and rodeo.


Shorty was a quiet and gentle man with a strong faith in the Lord.  He was a great role model for all.  He was very content and was easily satisfied by the simple things in life, leading by example. Shorty’s friendships extended across multiple generations. He often called young athletes to give them congratulations on a good game, or words of encouragement.


He valued the importance of a good, firm handshake.  He shared that skill with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, not to mention many other young people he knew.


Shorty knew the value of good neighbors.  He was fortunate to have many good neighbors throughout his life and enjoyed every moment he spent with them. In the later years, Shorty and Yvonne’s kitchen table became the neighborhood gathering spot for daily coffee and goodies.  This group became known as the “Floppers”, which had many members.


Right up to his final day on earth, he enjoyed telling, and hearing, a good story or joke.  He was a man of quick wit and remarkable memory.  He was depended on by many to answer a history question.


Shorty was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church.  He served as a member of the Zion Church Council, Towner Rural Fire Department, Towner Rodeo Association, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association, McHenry County Water Resource District, Towner Ranchers Scale Association, Towner School Board, Towner Cardinal Booster Club, Union Cemetery Board, and the Towner Area Beef Promoters.  He was a 4-H leader and an FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer.


Survivors include: Yvonne, his wife of 68 years; siblings Yvonne Butler of Cavalier, ND; Alyce (Alan) Rasmusson of Longview, WA; and Doris (Dick) Lund of Golden Valley, MN; children David (Denise) Thorson of Rozet, WY; Connie (Tim) Semler of Willow City, ND; Hal (Anna) Thorson of Towner; Carlen (Karla) Thorson of Dickinson, ND; and Scott (Kristy) Thorson of Towner; ten grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.


Shorty was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, David Butler.


Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 10 at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner with burial in the Union Cemetery, Towner.  Pastor Linda Wimmer and Mr. Wally Fretland, officiating.


A Prayer service and sharing of memories will be held at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at the church.


Posted Condolences:

Shorty was an inspiration to all of us growing up!  I want the family to know that they are all in our thoughts during this struggle!
Bruce Kreft

Shorty was a wonderful friend to all that knew him.  He was a special person to me .  I wanted to spend one more time with him as we all did.  He is in a much grander place.  Hopefully some day we will have coffee together again.
Sandy  stadheim

Sorry for the loss of Shorty. He was such an amazing person and was a wonderful friend to my father. Shorty was such a kind man. Thoughts of sympathy for his family.
Candy Wormsbecker

Shorty was three weeks older than I. We met at five years of age when Olga (Shorty's mom) called my mother to come for coffee so we boys could meet before we started first grade. I have so many memories and stories of the two of us, that I wouldn't know where to start. Through the years, every time we visited Towner, from our home in Wisconsin, Maxine and I met at the ranch for a GOOD cup of Yvonne's Norwegian coffee. May Shorty rest in peace with GOD's blessing.
Lee and Maxine Albrecht



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