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Beverly (Ness) ThorsonDecember 4, 1927 ~ July 8, 2017 (age 89)
Bev Thorson 89 of Bemidji, MN passed away at Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji on Saturday July 8, 2017.
Bev was born Beverly Dawn Ness, the daughter of Berth C and Louise P Ness on December 4, 1927 in Hunter, North Dakota. She was born in a house without running water or electricity and was later raised in Mahnomen, MN where she graduated from high school in 1945. She later graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Business Education.
During her teenage years, Bev followed the career of high school basketball star, Wayne Thorson from Hendrum, MN -- and later tracked his whereabouts in the South Pacific during the Second World War. Following the war, and while a student at the U of M, Bev learned of the vehicle that Wayne would be riding in from Minneapolis back up north, and arranged for herself to catch a ride in the same car -- which was the first time the two met. They were married on June 19, 1949 and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. The couple originally settled in Mahnomen, where Wayne went to work for Bev's dad in highway construction and Bev became a teacher at Mahnomen high school. The two started their family in Mahnomen, raising three sons and a daughter. But for Bev, the seasonal road construction life meant several summers of living in a travel trailer and raising kids in gravel pits. In 1958 Wayne and Bev started Thorson Construction, and later the couple bought the Bemidji firm, Ritchie and Tell, which brought the family to Bemidji in 1962. The company soon became Thorson Inc., which grew and evolved over the next several decades, and which today is Knife River Materials.
In addition to hard work and community involvement, Wayne and Bev were ambitious travelers, visiting many countries and far off lands around the world. They were also founding members of PGA West in La Quinta (Palm Springs) California where they resided during the winter months for the past 32 years.
Bev was involved in many clubs, groups, and organizations during her life, including her Bridge Club, PEO, as well as serving on the boards of the Concordia Language Villages and the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. Bev was also an avid golfer, tennis player, skier and a walker. She walked four miles in fifty minutes everyday for 41 years, mostly with her walking partner Mary Jane Stubbins, accumulating mileage that equated in distance to two and a half times around the world.
Bev is survived by her husband Wayne, her children Scott (Pam) Thorson of Bemidji, Kari (Jim) Bishop of Solway, MN, Mark (Amy) Thorson of Bemidji, Duke (Rhonda) Thorson of Huron, Ohio, 10 grandchildren, one great grandchild and another on the way. She was preceded in death by her parents and three children, Mark Ness Thorson, Baby Ness Thorson, and a baby unresponsive at birth.
A funeral service for Bev will be held on Friday, July 14, 2017 at 11:00 am, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Bemidji with Pastor Corey Fuhrman officiating. Visitation will take place at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Thursday, and one hour prior to service at the church. Internment at Greenwood Cemetery will follow after the service and fellowship.