John Thurn Jr.John Thurn Jr. passed away at home in Jamestown, ND on Friday evening, October 1, 2010. He was 81 years old. He was born to John F. and Pauline (Kaseman) Thurn in Eureka, SD on September 11, 1929. He grew up southwest of Wishek and graduated from Wishek High School in 1948, lettering in track and football.
John Thurn Jr. passed away at home in Jamestown, ND on Friday evening, October 1, 2010. He was 81 years old.
He was born to John F. and Pauline (Kaseman) Thurn in Eureka, SD on September 11, 1929. He grew up southwest of Wishek and graduated from Wishek High School in 1948, lettering in track and football. He taught in a series of one room schoolhouses, teaching all subjects, including, for some students, English as a second language. While teaching, he attended Ellendale Teacher’s College summers and evenings. He earned a double major in education and industrial arts. He taught in Zeeland; Eureka, SD; Columbus; and Jamestown. In 1970, he furthered his academic career with a master of arts degree in education from the University of North Dakota.
He met the love of his life, EldaVera Eleanor Pfeifle, one rainy evening in Ashley. She and her friends accepted a ride to get out of the rain, and a romance was born. After dating for two years, John popped the question on Elda’s 18th birthday, figuring she was old enough to say yes or no. They were married on June 15th, 1952, two weeks after Elda’s 19th birthday. Together, they had five children.
John taught for 43 years, 31 of those at Jamestown High School and Vocational Center. Initially he taught math and history, though the bulk of his career was spent teaching industrial arts and vocational education. For seventeen years, he took teams to the Plymouth Troubleshooting Contest, competing at state and national events. The teams he led placed highly at eleven of those tournaments, with many first place state trophies and as high as fourteenth at nationals.
John was known for his sharp skill playing pinochle. He enjoyed spending time with family, camping, traveling, singing, and gardening. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, where he was a deacon and usher for many years.
John is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Elda, currently of Jamestown. It was John and Elda’s wish that they relocate to Fargo, and they were in the process of moving at the time of his death. Their son, Lyle, and granddaughter, Melissa, reside in Bismarck. Daughter, Bonnie Clarys, and her husband, Ron, and grandchildren Leisa Hrdlicka (Mike), Steven, and Kristin live in Fargo. Daughter, Beatrice Mikkelsen, and her husband, Craig, make their home in West Fargo; grandchildren Joshua (West Fargo) and Laura (University of North Dakota). Daughter, Belinda Cherney, resides in Jamestown; grandson Kurt (Megan Gumke), great-grandson Kashdon (West Fargo), grandson Scott (United States Marine Corps). Daughter, Michelle Schultz, and her husband, Craig, live in Portland, OR with grandson, Riley. Surviving brothers and sisters include Rose Bader and Edgar Thurn of Wishek and Loraine Meidinger of Bismarck. Other surviving family include Leona and Marlene Thurn, of Wishek, Shirley Thurn of Ashley, Walter Meidinger of Bismarck, Mabel Pfeifle of Fargo, Duane (Jean) Pfeifle and Jolene (Harry) Dodd of Wahpeton, and many nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors. John was preceded in death by his parents, John F. and Pauline Thurn; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Art and Ida Pfeifle; son-in-law, Don Cherney; brothers Art, Benny, and Ruben; sisters Hilda Hildebrand and Pauline Thurn; and brother-in-law, Jerome Pfeifle.
Funeral service: 11:00 AM, Friday, October 8, 2010 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Jamestown, with Pastor Harlan Kaden officiating.
Visitation: 1:00 to 8:00 PM, Thursday, October 7, 2010 at Eddy Funeral Home, Jamestown, North Dakota.
Prayer service: 8:00 PM, Thursday, October 7, 2010 at Eddy Funeral Home, Jamestown.
Burial: Highland Home Cemetery, Jamestown
On line guestbook: www.eddyfuneralhome. com
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