Norman D. Thomsen
Norman D. Thomsen, 91, of Sun City, Arizona, died Aug. 16, 2018, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Norman was born Feb. 18, 1927, to Christian and Emma (Sorenson) Thomsen on his family’s farm in Brookings County, South Dakota. He attended a rural elementary school and completed high school in Brookings.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World Ward II at the San Diego Naval Base in California, achieving the rank of Seaman Second Class. After his discharge in 1947, he earned a journalism degree from South Dakota State University.
Norman married Patricia Westling of Centerville, South Dakota, on Nov. 30, 1952. Early in their marriage, Norm worked in the agricultural chemicals field in the Midwest. He later moved on to work at Ciba-Geigy Corporation, who recruited him to join their agricultural chemical sales and marketing team in Ardsley, New York. For the next 32 years, he served in various sales, marketing, and management positions. He was highly regarded by his colleagues for his ability and dedication.
Norman’s engaging, gracious, perpetually optimistic, and kind qualities attracted a circle of lifelong, devoted friends. Those qualities contributed to his leadership in Toastmasters International. He founded three Toastmasters clubs during his years at Ciba-Geigy, serving as the area governor of the organization.
Upon his retirement in 1984, he and Pat moved to Providence Forge, Virginia, where he extended his career in the agricultural industry. He became well known to northeastern Virginia farmers during his employment with Alliance Fertilizer Company and Montague Farms and his service as president of the Virginia Corn Growers Association. While living in Providence Forge, he served as an elder at Providence Forge Presbyterian Church, past president of Providence Forge Recreation Center, and as a member of Providence Forge’s Ruritan Club.
In 2000, Norman published “Growing Up on the Farm in the Thirties: A South Dakota Family’s Story.” The memoir captured his experiences of family farm life in 1930s South Dakota.
Norman started every day offering a warm smile and heartfelt greeting to everyone within earshot, whether it was a friend, family, or a stranger. He leaves behind a legacy of good will and genuine love of life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Christian and Emma Thomsen; sister, Loraine Cline; and brothers, Arnold, Alvin, Luverne, and Leslie.
Norman leaves behind his beloved wife, Patricia; daughters, Tamara Thomsen of Brooklyn, New York and Tracie Stackhouse (James) of Farmington, New Mexico; grandsons, James Corey Stackhouse of Farmington, New Mexico and Timothy Stackhouse of Tucson, Arizona; great-granddaughter, Aviana Stackhouse of Farmington, New Mexico; along with several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held on Friday, Sept. 18, 1 p.m. at Komstad Covenant Church, 29987 University Road, Beresford, South Dakota. Arrangements were managed by Wass Home for Funerals in Beresford.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Providence Forge Presbyterian Church, 9310 Townsend Road, Providence Forge, VA 23140.