Irene Mary Thorson


image of Irene Thorson

Irene Thorson

Irene Mary Thorson left this world to join her beloved husband Ted on November 21 at Merrill Gardens in Kirkland, WA.  She lived a full and joyful 98 years, passing away peacefully surrounded by the family she loved so much.  Born in Victoria, BC to Scottish parents Arthur and Jessie Dakers, She came to the US at age 6, growing up in Bothell where she graduated from Bothell High.  She was the first in her family to graduate from college, obtaining her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Washington.  This sparked a  a lifelong love of all things Huskies; Irene was a UW booster holding Husky Football season tickets for over 50 years. She also supported Children’s Hospital and the UW medical school.

Irene met and married Theodore Thorson and they enjoyed over 50 years together.  They moved to Bellevue in 1962 where she was the CEO of the Thorson family.  She took great pride in family matters and worked tirelessly on behalf of her children and the community through civic organizations including the PTA and YMCA.  She also opened her home to multiple students from all over the world through Rotary and YMCA international exchange student programs. After she raised her 5 children she remained interested and involved in their lives until she passed away. Among her greatest joys was seeing her grand-children and great grandchildren grow and thrive.

She provided her family with many opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities available in the Pacific Northwest, such as boating, hiking, camping and salmon fishing. In 1969 she and Ted bought a cabin near Crystal Mountain which became a foundation for family activities, particularly skiing.  She worked selflessly to organize holiday outings to the Cabin including numerous Christmases, which are among the family’s most entertaining stories and treasured memories.  She enjoyed large family gatherings, where her pride, love and joy shined particularly bright.

Irene and Ted moved to Kenmore after his retirement and were active members of Inglewood Golf Club. Irene loved golf and played most of her adult life, well into her 80’s.   She especially enjoyed the day she carded a hole in one on number 12 at Inglewood.  She volunteered at the Seattle Assistance League for years during this period.  Together she and Ted also travelled extensively, in Europe as well as China, Japan and Africa.  She was proud of her Canadian family and trips to Victoria were also regular family events.

Irene moved to Merrill Gardens in Kirkland in 2016 where she enjoyed friends both new and old among the Merrill residents.  She consistently enjoyed the social events and outings during her time there. She felt especially thankful for the kindness and efforts of the staff, during the difficult years of the Covid pandemic, and during her final weeks.  Her longtime caregiver Gita Bilaney was like family and was with her until the end of her life.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband Ted and her siblings Arthur and Jeanette.  She is survived by her 5 children (and spouses) including Lee (Liz) of Kirkland, WA, Eric (Rita) of Wenatchee, WA, Anne (Peter) of San Francisco, CA, Janet (Mark) of Greenbrae, CA and Mark of Renton, WA. Her 8 grandchildren include Kirk Thorson, Alex Thorson, Leanne Thorson, Teddy Thorson, Katie Ross, Roxanne Kewley, Blaire Epstein, and Grace Epstein.  Her great grandchildren included Brynne and Knox Thorson and Addie Kewley. She is also survived by her niece Valerie Thorson and her nieces and nephews in British Columbia: Barbara Conwell, Elizabeth Stanlake, Michael Dunn and Brian Dunn.

Memorial donations can be made to the University of Washington, Lighthouse for the Blind or the Seattle Assistance League.


2 Responses to “Irene Mary Thorson”

  • Sheri L Baker says:

    Irene was a most beloved friend and at one time golf partner. Irene carried herself with grace and was always positive. She loved her family and was the most genuine person who cared about life. I likened her to the energizer bunny as she was always on the move or at least thinking about it. As her golfing years passed we continued to have our “coffees” every so often and spoke on the phone for almost hours at a time. She was one of my dearest friends and I so miss her.
    To the Thorsen children your Mom was one fine lady!! And now an Angel watching over us.

  • Valerie Thorson says:

    It was such a blessing to have Irene as part of my extended family.
    Lee, Eric, Anne, Janet & Mark, we had so much fun at holidays and other times as we grew up, and your mom facilitated it all in a home that was both elegant and kid-friendly.
    So many memories are coming to mind of how inspiring and encouraging Irene was. She saved the day more than once with kindness, generosity, and good humor. She gave moral support and practical help in times of loss, and cheered me on through achievements & milestones.
    I share in your sorrow and send my most sincere condolences to each of you.

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