SHIRLEY ANN THORESON was born September 29, 1934 in Lake Preston, SD to Clifford and Ada (Stenseth) Pederson. She was raised in Nunda, SD where she attended elementary school. She attended Rutland High School, graduating with the class of 1952. On June 20, 1952 she was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Arvid Thoreson in Witchita Falls, TX where Arvid was stationed with the US Air Force. They relocated near Riverside, CA while Arvid was stationed at the March Air Force Base. They moved to Downy, CA in 1955 where Shirley stayed busy as a homemaker to the couple’s four children. Throughout the years, she took great pride in caring for their children and their family’s home. During the year that Arvid served overseas, Shirley returned with the children to Nunda. Upon Arvid’s return stateside, they reunited in Downy and moved to Santa Maria, CA where they resided for the next 12 years. In 1967, they made the decision to move to Luverne, MN for their family, where Shirley worked at Creeger’s clothing store. Then, the couple moved to Brandon, SD and Shirley worked at Sears in Sioux Falls, SD. In 2008 the couple returned to Luverne.
Shirley enjoyed baking, and was known for her beautifully decorated and delicious secret-recipe cakes that were made for weddings, birthdays, and graduations. Shirley and Arvid enjoyed vacationing to Branson, MO, and Nashville, TN with her sister, Barb and brother-in-law, Chuck. Shirley also enjoyed shopping for antiques.
Shirley was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Luverne, and active in the Ladies Circle. Shirley had many long lasting friendships, and saw the positive in everyone she met. She was always the peacemaker, always forgiving, and always thoughtful. She loved to spend time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was excited for the arrival of the 17th great-grandchild, and the 1st great-great-grandchild.
On Monday, January 16, 2017, surrounded by her family, Shirley passed away at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage at the age of 82 years, 3 months and 17 days.
Shirley is lovingly remembered by her husband, Arvid; children, Judy (Rod) Walgrave of Luverne, Jannis (Les) Heikes of Eden Prairie, MN, Randy Thoreson of Sioux Falls, and Greg Thoreson of Sioux Falls; 13 grandchildren, Shannon (Margo) Walgrave, Tim (Amber) Walgrave, Mandy Skattum, Nicky (Matt) Skattum, Matt Heikes, Tom Heikes, Treasure Thoreson, Tara Thoreson, Tori Thoreson, Taylor Thoreson, Jack (Nick) Thoreson, Derek (Veronica) Thoreson; 16 great-grandchildren, Montana Ennenga, Xander Walgrave, Brooke Walgrave, Cole Walgrave, Mace Walgrave, Meghan Mollberg, Zane Walgrave, Beck Walgrave, Reed (Macey) Skattum, Allie Skattum, Max Skattum, Vivian Skattum, Sylvia Skattum, Evelyn Skattum, Gwenevier Skattum and Aaliyah Thoreson; and her siblings, Dennis (Delores) Pederson of Escondido, CA and Barb (Chuck) Quam of Baltic, SD; and her sister-in-law, Willa Pederson of Mountain Home, ID. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Derward Pederson and Duane Pederson; grandson, Andrew Heikes; daughters-in-law, Patricia Thoreson and Kathy Thoreson; and grandson-in-law, Nate Skattum.