Robert Dale Thorson

Bob Thorson

Robert Dale Thorson passed away February 4, 2012 in Issaquah, WA at the age of 75.  He was born Aug. 23, 1936 at the hospital in Grafton, ND, the son of Frithjof Johan and Ethel Margaret (Herum) Thorson.  He was raised in Park River, ND, where his father was the Postmaster for many years.  Bob attended school there for the full 12 years of grade school and high school and had fond memories of his years in Park River.  He was given the nickname “Tweety” by his friends while growing up and continued to enjoy the name and Tweety Bird items throughout his life.  He loved to play golf and was very proud of the fact that in 1955 he won the Hillcrest Championship in Park River.


Bob graduated from the University of North Dakota, with a BSBA, in Grand Forks in 1959 and was then employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Social Security Administration) in Fargo, ND.  He met his wife, Dorothy (Simonson), shortly after transferring to Minot, ND, and they were married in Zion Lutheran Church, Minot, ND, the following December 10, 1960.  Besides Minot, he also worked in Creston, IA; Grand Forks, ND; Miles City, MT. and finally in the spring of 1973, to Seattle, WA, where he remained until his retirement in 1993. He resided in Bellevue, WA, and was a member of Cross of Christ Lutheran Church since 1973.


Bob was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.  He loved his family and always put them first.  He had a great sense of humor and enjoyed traveling and camping with his family and also the many business trips he made before retiring.

Bob is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his daughter Cynthia (Peter) Keese; his son David (Joan) Thorson; two grandchildren: Kristina and Daniel Thorson; his sister Rebecca (Kenneth) Gann, Calif.; nephews and nieces Jeffrey (Tiffany) Gann, Deborah (Brian) Crossley, Valerie (Scott) Smith, and Jerrel Gower, all of California.

He was preceded in death by his parents F.J. and Ethel Thorson and his sister-in-law Mavis (Simonson) Gower and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Memorial services will be at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Bellevue, WA, and inurnment will be at the Cross of Christ Columbarium.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Bob’s name to the National Parkinson Foundation or the Cross of Christ Columbarium in Bellevue, WA.

5 Responses to “Robert Dale Thorson”

  • Valerie Smith says:

    I have very fond memories of my uncle. He was always in a good mood and very funny. When I was younger he let me go on camping trips with him and his family which were always a lot of fun. His stories were always interesting and I knew that he liked to have me around.
    He will be missed.
    Valerie Smith

  • Red Meyer says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Bob in the Medicare program in Seattle (1973-1989). One winter day we had a heck of a snowstorm that started while we were at work. Bob had taken the bus to work while I, California born and raised dummy, had driven my newish sports car. I was terrified of driving in the snow. Guess who volunteered to drive me home (we lived nearby one another)? Thanks to his ND background, it was a piece of cake for Bob. A real gentleman, I’ll always remember him. My sincere condolences to the family.

  • Larry and Monnie Meland says:

    Bob and Dorothy have been great neighbor for many years. Bob always had a twinkle in his eye after telling comical stories or jokes. Larry enjoyed going out to breakfast at Lil’Jon or I-Hop with Bob during early retirement. Later, they had good chats over Starbuck’s coffee. We were the happy recipients of
    delicious lefse from the Thorson familie’s annual lefse day, which we know Bob continued to enjoy this past year with three generations working together. With
    loving prayers to Dorothy and family, Larry and Monnie Mealnd

  • David Rokosky says:

    I worked with Bob for several years in the Beneficiary Services Branch. Some of us called him Grandfather Medicare because he had such an extensive knowledge of the program from it inception. More folks called him Captain Bob. I’m not clear to the origin of the nickname but I am clear that it was used as a sign of respect and affection for a truly hard working, dedicated and skilled public servant who was a joy to work with.

  • Mr. Jerrel Gower says:

    Bob and Dorthy,

    I really miss the both of you. When my mom, Mavis, would tell me that you two and the chikdren were comming from South Dacoda, we would say wopieeee.
    Bob, you allways had ths sofest demanor of any man I knew.
    And I rember you comming to the door in the snow in Montana to see Dorthy. We would allways say, here comes Bob, a really nice man.
    I will truly miss a gentle sole of a man.

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