Howard “Whitey” Thorson

Howard “Whitey” Neal Thorson was born June 28, 1928, in Fargo, ND, to Louis and Maria (Halkestad) Thorson. Howard was baptized at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, and graduated from Central High School in 1945.

Howard attended San Diego (CA) State University and graduated from North Dakota Agricultural College (NDSU) with a BS degree in bacteriology. His career spanned 38 years with Cass Clay Creamery, Fargo, as Quality Control Manager, ensuring the safety and quality of all products produced at the Fargo facility. He was also active in Toastmasters.

He had a love of crafting beautiful projects from found objects of steel, wood, and stone. He created sculptures which adorned his homes and yards. He was a fine woodworker; building, among other things, professional quality recurve bows for his archery hobby.

Howard married Marlene Risedorf on March 18, 1951, in Fargo. In partnership, he constructed two homes. The first was on the shores of Middle Cormorant Lake. The second was on the shores of Little MacDonald Lake. The homes are a testament to Howard’s drive, perseverance, and insistence on quality of execution.

Howard could be found working in his home workshop on various projects on a daily basis and looking for a good poker game up until his final weeks. Howard passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at Eventide, Fargo, at ninety-three years of age.

Howard is survived by his wife of seventy years, Marlene; four sons, Jeff (Gail), Bob (Pam), Dave (Jeannie), and Charlie (Janet); four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He is loved and missed by his adoring family.

In addition to his parents, Howard was preceded in death by his three siblings, Mildred “Mickey” Wollery, Arnold Thorson, and Lillian Johnson.

Visitation will begin at 10 AM, with a Life Celebration service at 11 AM, Tuesday, October 19, 2021, in First Lutheran Church, Fargo.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Fraser, Ltd.

Memories and condolences may be shared at

Arrangements with Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service, Moorhead, MN.

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