Owen Dean Thorson, 78, of Maquoketa, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at his home in Maquoketa, Iowa.
A celebration of Owen's life will be held at 10:30 A.M., Saturday, September 22, 2018, at First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 P.M. on Friday, September 21, 2018, at Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa. Graveside services and burial will be held at 1:30 P.M., Sunday, September 23, 2018, at The Cambridge Cemetery, in Cambridge, Iowa, with military honors.
Owen was born on October 14, 1939 in Cambridge, to Eric Selmer and Alice Mae (Nelson) Thorson. He attended high school in Cambridge, graduating in 1957. After graduation, he attended Luther College in Decorah, where he earned a Business degree in 1961. Upon graduation, he served his country in the U.S. Army, receiving an honorable discharge 1963. He then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, and was employed as a district sales representative for Standard Oil. He left Kansas City, and traveled the world for the next two years, visiting 41 countries. Upon his return, Owen worked as an instructor for the Iowa State University speech department, while earning his master's degree in counseling. In 1974, he moved to Maquoketa, where he worked as a high school guidance counselor for the Maquoketa Community School District. He retired in 2004. Additionally, during the summers, he worked as a Pioneer Hi-Bred seed field inspector supervisor for 36 years.
Owen married Karen Louise Hartley on April 24, 1982 in Dubuque, Iowa.
Owen was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Maquoketa, Maquoketa Club Optimist International, serving as a past President in 1996, American School Counselors Association, Iowa Counselors Association, serving as a past President from 1984-1985, and the Sons of Norway. His favorite pastime was observing wildlife around Hurstville, following college football, and collecting lightning rod balls.
Those left to honor Owen's memory include his wife, Karen Thorson of Maquoketa, IA; children, Emily (Robert) Deschner of Palatine, IL, and Eric (Whitney) Thorson of Ankeny, IA; 2 grandchildren, Kara Mae Deschner and Dean Samuel Thorson; a brother, Eric (Marlene) Thorson of Irvine, CA; and sisters, Delores Lewis of Urbandale, IA, and Adelia Heitland of Des Moines, IA. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Bonnie Lou Thorson and Stella Glew.
Memorials may be made to Luther College or Hospice of Jackson County.
Online condolences may be left at www.carsonandson.com.
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We are so sorry to hear of Owen's passing. Owen picked up Mike at the Dubuque airport when Mike arrived for an interview with the school district. He was the first person to greet us when our family moved to Maquoketa.Owen sat in our kitchen and held 6 week old Anne while we settled into our new home. I knew he would make a great dad. He was a kind and funny man who enjoyed teasing our young children. For 30 years he was a great friend of our family. Mike and Bonnie Macklin
Karen, Emily and Eric,
So very sad you have lost your wonderful husband and father. I first met Owen August 30th in 1971 in Ames where we were both on the faculty at Iowa State. We became fast friends along with Ferne Stone. Owen taught me everything about Iowa and introduced me to friends and relatives throughout the state. We had many adventures together and have remained close over nearly fifty years. He was truly a remarkable friend.
Owen all dressed up in front of his apartment in Ames circa 1972.
Owen all dressed up in front of his apartment in Ames.
Eric and Family.
Sending my thoughts and prayers as you deal with this difficult loss. May your many happy memories get you through this time.
Karen, Emily & Eric: Sending our deepest sympathy in the loss of your husband & father. Owen was always professional & personable. A great man!
Owen Dean at his desk in the office we shared at Iowa State
Karen and family. We are both so sorry for your loss. Every time we would get together he and Bill would love talking about corn. Owen knew more about corn than anyone I ever knew. He was a kind and wonderful person and my heart goes out to you all.
Sincere Sympathy in loosing a wonderful Man. He is in Heaven now and we will soon join him. God is with him at this time and may God give comfort to you in Owen's passing. Sincerely in Sympathy from Janice Thorson Holten.
I joined the faculty at Maquoketa a year before Owen. My first interaction with him was in our efforts to establish a Teacher's Union. He had a wonderful sense of humor, but also a bull-dog's determination when it came to fighting for a fair playing field for teachers. He was a great conversationalist. A good friend. Wonderful with students. We will miss him. Chuck Jorgensen. Sorry, but I will be out of town on Saturday.
He impacted many lives. I'm sure he will be truly missed. Condolences to family and friends
Owen was one of my supervisors while I worked as and inspector for Pioneer during the summer months. Owen was always concerned about your welfare and that of your family. He was a very nice man that I did not look at as my boss but rather as a true friend.
Mr. Thorson was always so kind - he will be missed! My sympathies to his family...
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