Thief River Falls - Norris “Norrie” Thune, 71, Thief River Falls, died on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., surrounded by his loving family.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, Oct. 7 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, with Father Rick Lambert presiding. Casketbearers included Mark Bostrom, Bob Kron, Aaron Bostrom, Tommy Koch, Luke Kron, Murray Engelstad, Rodney Langaas, Robbie Finstad, David Lee and Russ Christianson. Interment was held at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
Norris Dale Thune was born on Sept. 17, 1942 in Thief River Falls, the son of Emil and Gertrude (Kvall) Thune. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Pauli Lutheran Church in Roxbury Township, Pennington County. Norrie attended Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls, and during those years Norrie worked for Bert Vigen and Clayton Mathson on their farms. While working as a carry-out at Hartz Grocery Store, Norrie met his future wife, Arlene Pokrzywinski, who was attending cosmetology school.
On July 28, 1962 the couple was united in marriage at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Oslo. To this union, four children were born, Mark, Collette, Jacqueline and Suzanne. The family made their home in Red Lake Falls, where Norrie worked with his sister, Arlene. They operated a produce store, where they tested milk and candled eggs. In 1965, Norrie and his sister started the Red Lake County Agency. Shortly after that, his sister left the business, and Norrie continued to operate and grow the business.
In 1972, Norrie purchased the Les Ihle Insurance Agency in Thief River Falls. This moved the family to Thief River Falls, and three years later, Norrie partnered with Stan Upham and changed the business name to Thune-Upham Insurance Agency. It was at this same time that Norrie moved his family to the farm where he was born and raised in Smiley Township. This is where Norrie lived up until the time of his passing. He often stated “I never moved far from home!” In 1997, Norrie’s son, Mark, purchased the business which is now known as Thune Insurance Network. Norrie continued to work with his son until retiring in 2008.
Norrie was a farm boy at heart and a man of the soil. Together, the family worked the farm including 150 sheep, several horses, an alfalfa crop, a large vegetable garden and a flower garden. As the children grew, the animals disappeared and the trees and gardens multiplied into the beautiful farm they have today. In his spare time, Norrie enjoyed fishing, camping, ballgames, snowmobiling, was a good judge of character, and especially loved spending time with his family. In his later years Norrie’s favorite place to spend time on the farm was at the shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Prayer Rocks,” a special place which he and Arlene created in 2003.
Norrie was an active community leader, volunteer and very giving of his time and talent. He was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls. He served as president of the Professional Insurance Association of Minnesota, president of the Pennington County Fair Board and was instrumental in bringing the bull ride to Thief River Falls.
Survivors include his loving wife of 51 years, Arlene of Thief River Falls; children, Mark (Tammy) Thune of Thief River Falls, Collette (Mark) Bostrom of Deerwood, Jackie (Bob) Kron of Andover, and Susie Koch of Andover; 18 grandchildren, Paige, Sydney and Lauryn Thune, Aaron, Caitlin, Grace, Anna, Sarah, Joseph and Joshua Bostrom, Brooke, Madeline, Elizabeth and Luke Kron, Jade, Taylor and Tana Spaeth, Tommy Koch; great-grandson, Krew Spaeth; brothers, Glen (Beverly) Thune of Twin Valley, and Donnie (LaVonne) Thune of St. Hilaire; sister, Arlene L. Thune of Erskine; sister-in-law, Alice Thune of Thief River Falls; and many other relatives and friends. Xillo, his dog, was very special to him and was almost considered his fifth child.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Palmer (Shirley) and Ernie Thune.
Condolences may be sent to the Norris Thune family at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.