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Roleen Louise Thorson

July 10, 1946 - August 25, 2018

Church First United Methodist Church

Visitation will be on Thursday, August 30 from 5-7 pm at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be on Friday, August 31 at 10:30 am at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Greg Kroger officiating.

Roleen Louise Thorson was born Roleen Louise Olesen in Hoven, South Dakota, on July 10th, 1946.  Her parents were Louis and Harriet Olesen and she was the eldest sister of two brothers. Roleen graduated from Central High School in 1964.  On April 3, 1965, Roleen married “the love of her life,” Lynn of Florence, South Dakota, with whom she was married to for 53 years.  It was during these 53 years that Roleen and Lynn raised a family in which they moved eighteen times because of Lynn’s career with the K-mart corporation.

The greatest joy of her life was being a mother and nana.  Robin was born in 1965 for the first time Roleen knew unconditional love.  It wasn’t long after Robin’s birth that Roleen learned that she was once again blessed to bring another child into the world.  She wrote, “I had no idea that I could possibly love another baby as much as I loved her.  Little did I know that as soon as I took him in my arms, that my heart would grow just that much bigger.”  Ron was born in early 1967.  Roleen’s heart grew even bigger when her youngest child, Rochelle, was born in 1975.  Rochelle and her husband, Sheldon, nearly made Roleen’s heart explode with the birth of her first granddaughter, Emily.  Fortunately, Roleen’s heart continued to grow with the joy of four additional grandchildren.  Robin and her husband, Tim, adopted two children, Ian and Hope, while Rochelle welcomed two more daughters, Sarah and Anna.

Unconditional love was freely given by Roleen.  In all that she did and said, whether she agreed with you or not, she still loved.  It was through her quilts that she expressed this love.  Designing and making quilts was her passion, but it was the joy she received every time she gave a quilt to someone she loved that filled her heart.  Those of us who have received these quilts are so lucky to be able to wrap ourselves in her love.

Roleen always put her family first, but after working as a homemaker for thirteen years she took a job at Green Giant in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  She wrote, “It was 1979 and I saw my first computer.  I was fascinated.”  Although she didn’t have a formal education, she challenged herself to learn everything she could about computers.  The knowledge that she developed over the years propelled her to highly responsible positions.

“I fought the good fight. I finished the race. I kept the faith.”  – 2 Timothy 4:7 – describes Roleen’s final days.  On August 15th Roleen’s final fight began with a diagnosis of Small Cell Carcinoma.  She courageously started her treatment the very next day.  Although very weak, Roleen’s faith helped her to be the pillar of strength her family needed.  On August 25th, 2018, surrounded by her loving family, Roleen reached the finish line of a life that was filled with joy, love, and faith.

Roleen is survived by her husband, Lynn Thorson, her three children Robin (Tim) Liegey of Bel Air, Maryland, Ron (Monica) Thorson, of New Richland, Minnesota, Rochelle (Sheldon) Lantermans, of Tabernash, Colorado, her brother James Olesen of Rapid City, South Dakota, and five grandchildren.

Roleen is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Stephen Olesen.

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