Walter James Thorn, 77, from Glasgow, Mont., died Tuesday, November 12, 2013, in Billings after a year-long battle with a rare form of leukemia.
He was born on Aug. 30, 1936, in Great Falls, Mont., to James and Helen Thorn. He married Sondra Gallagher of Glasgow on Aug. 15, 1959, and spent the next 54 years with his best friend. They had four children.
He graduated from Havre High School in 1955 and joined the Navy, where he participated in Operation Redwing, which was the testing of the H-Bomb in the Pacific Ocean. In the early '60s, he worked for Boeing on the Minuteman Missile Projects in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota. In 1968 he started his own business, "Thorn Refrigeration," in Glasgow and continued to work until he retired in 1998. He was a well-known businessman in northeast Montana who was known for his hard work and honesty.
He was one of the founding members of the Glasgow AAU Wrestling Club, a member of the Glasgow School Board, and a retired member of the Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department. During retirement he and Sondra enjoyed spending the winters in Bouse, Ariz., traveling all around the U.S., playing golf, and doing water color painting. He enjoyed working around the house and helping his elderly neighbors with yard work and snow removal. His greatest joy came from spending time with his children and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Pat Thorn and Kenny Thorn.
Survivors include his wife, Sondra; one daughter, Bridgett Gardner and her husband, Dallas, of Billings; three sons, Curtis Thorn and his wife, Shelly, of Scobey, Christopher Thorn and his wife, Maricelle, of Perris, Calif., and Matthew Thorn and his wife, Gerilyn, of Brookings, S.D.; six grandsons, Jeffrey Rogney, Tyson Stebleton, Micheal Thorn, Eric Gardner, Chandler Thorn and Zachary Thorn; five granddaughters, Katie Gatlin, Alicia Morehouse, Sondra Thorn, Allison Branum and Morgan Thorn; six great-grandchildren, Cale, Jovee and Tay Morehouse, Troy and Tya Stebleton, and Gabriel Thorn; and two sisters, Debbie Gabriel and Kitty Nelson.
A Memorial Service was held on Friday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Glasgow. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Glasgow, followed by interment at the Highland Cemetery, and a reception at St. Raphael's Parish Center.
Bell Mortuary of Glasgow was in charge of arrangements.