Obituary: Dale Thorstenson


March 20, 2023

Dale Thorstenson

Dale Thorstenson, 93, Bismarck, N.D.,passed away on March 10, 2023.

A funeral service will be held at 12:00 p.m., Friday, March 24, at First Lutheran Church, 800 N 7th St., Bismarck. A link to view the service livestream will be available on the funeral home website.

Visitation will be held from 5-7:00 p.m., Thursday, March 23, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck. A prayer service will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Interment will be held at 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 24, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.

Dale Oscar Thorstenson was the first son born to Katherine and Oscar Thorstenson in Bowdon, North Dakota. Dale was raised on a farm outside of Bowdon and had two brothers, Chuck (Bub) and Kenny (Uncle Bill). His memories of the farm were hard due to many years of the Depression and the Dust Bowl, but he loved Bowdon, the community and all sports, especially basketball and baseball. He was one of the stars of the team and often recalled those exciting games!

Dale attended college at Valley City State, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education, biology and phy ed. His first job was in Litchville, N.D., where he taught all the high school sciences and coached. Dale loved to coach!

He then served in Japan during the Korean war and returned to teach at Arthur, N.D., for a period, but soon transitioned to Bismarck High School. He taught sophomore biology for years, and he coached football and track.

After attaining his Master's Degree in Counseling, Dale became a guidance counselor and rose to become Director of Guidance Counseling at BHS until his retirement in 1991. Dale kept his passion for sports his entire life, so he could be seen at many games, refereeing, working the game clock or keeping the statistics.

Dale married Vivian Paulson (of Devils Lake, N.D.) on June 5, 1958. They met on a blind date connected by mutual friends. June 5, 2023, will be their 65th wedding anniversary. Dale and Vivian had three children, Rene, Linda and Craig and raised them on North Bell Street. They lived in that home for 63 years!

Dale and Vivian loved to garden, with a large vegetable garden in the back and several flower beds. Dale also was a beekeeper for many years, and one memory the children have is of the neighborhood kids all gathering in the yard to eat balls of honey wax after the honey was harvested.

Dale and Vivian were lifelong members of First Lutheran Church, serving on the board and singing in the choir. They attended for decades until it became difficult in their later years, but they remained dedicated to the church community.

Hunting was one of Dale's favorite activities. He hunted deer and game birds until he was 80 years old. He also enjoyed the peacefulness of fishing on a lake. He loved that time with his friends and brothers. He also loved his dogs, Duke and Jake, both Labrador retrievers. He had a soft spot for dogs his whole life.

He was a wiley card player who loved a good game of cribbage and pinochle. Another lifelong hobby was music. He often played old time hymns on the family piano and to the very last days had a harmonica ready to play "You are my Sunshine."

Dale was a man with a gentle, quiet way, and he always showed up. He was there for his children's games and concerts. He showed up for his grandchildren. Ben (grandson) was an athlete in Bismarck, and his grandparents rarely missed a game. His granddaughters, Marit and Jessie grew up in Seattle. Dale and Vivian were sure to attend their big events, from musicals to cheer competitions and graduations. Dale was devoted, loyal and cherished his family above all else.

He is survived by his wife, Vivian; children, Rene (Chuck) Murry, Linda (Tod) Kringstad, and Craig (Robin) Thorstenson; grandchildren, Ben (Jill) Kringstad, Marit (Josh) Murry-Aguilar and Jessie Murry; and his great-grandchildren, Ella Rae and Avery Kringstad. Dale is also survived by his brother, Kenneth (June) Thorstenson; nephews, Rod, Steve, Tad and David Thorstenson and their families; nephew, Tim Thorstenson; and his niece, LeeAnn (Paul) Short.

Dale was preceded in death by his brother, Chuck Thorstenson; sister-in-law, Lori Thorstenson; and parents, Katherine and Oscar Thorstenson.

The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the Baptist Health Care Center for the excellent care they provided for Dale during the time he lived there.

The family also requests that any donations be made to Carrie's Kids or First Lutheran church in lieu of flowers.

Arrangements by Eastgate & Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck, N.D.


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