Cover photo for Samuel Thoreson's Obituary
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1929 Samuel 2015

Samuel Thoreson

March 25, 1929 — June 1, 2015

A memorial service will be held 10:30 am, Friday, June 12, 2015 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1405 N. Sycamore, Roswell, NM, 88201 for Samuel Richard Thoreson, 86, of Roswell, who passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on June 1, 2015 after battling prostate cancer and COPD for over ten years. Pastor Daniel C. Praeuner and Pastor Robert Paul will officiate.

Sam was born on March 25, 1929 to Peter and Anna Belle Thoreson in Calvin, North Dakota. He was the youngest of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. Sam grew up in Devils Lake, North Dakota playing sports and excelling in basketball. Following high school he attended Mayville Teachers College on a scholarship for basketball. But after only one year of college he joined the U.S. Navy, serving with distinction aboard the USS Thomas Jefferson (APA-30) as a Hospital Corpsman during the Korean War. In October 1952, while on leave, Sam met and married Virginia (Ginny) Batson. Ginny recalls that she "did not want to miss the chance of a lifetime" and apparently Sam felt the same way, especially after 63 wonderful years of marriage.
After an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy in February 1954, Sam went to work for the Department of the Army at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. He worked in the Recreation Division pursuing his desire to become a basketball coach. But a growing family sidetracked those plans. In May 1954, his first son, Tracy was born. A year-and-a-half later, his beloved daughter Gale Ann was born, and finally in June 1958 his youngest son Mark was born. In order to advance his career and provide for his family, Sam chose to pack up his family, move to Arizona, and attend the University of Arizona. Go Wildcats!
Upon graduation from University of Arizona, Sam's career path went from a Recreation Director position for the cities of South Euclid and Lyndhurst in northern Ohio, to Manager of Cleveland Winchester Trap and Skeet Club, followed by a move to Massachusetts leading the North American Family Camping Association (NAFCA) until he eventually came full circle and went back to work for the Department of The Army in Hawaii.
Sam achieved the rank of GM-13 and was the Director of Personnel and Community Activities, Morale Support Activities Division Hawaii. All recreation facilities and activities for Army personnel, on all of the Hawaiian Islands, were under Sam's direction. Finally after a distinguished career Sam retired in 1994 and moved to Roswell, New Mexico.
Sam is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Peter and Brad Thoreson, and sisters Marge Stephens and Lucille Brakke. Those left to carry on Sam's legacy are his treasured wife Ginny, and his children: son, Tracy Thoreson of San Antonio, Texas; daughter, Gale Ann Landrum, of Roswell, New Mexico; son, Mark Thoreson, of Seal Beach, California. Also surviving Sam are his son-in-law Aaron Landrum, 5 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.
Sam's passions were his love for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his wife and family, his church, the University of Arizona Wildcat sports teams, and his Chicago Bears. Throughout his life Sam was active in serving others. He was a member of and President of both Kiwanis and the Triton Athletic Booster Club. He served his church family as an elder at Immanuel Lutheran Church, and served the Roswell community by volunteering for the Red Cross, the United Way, and the Community Kitchen.
Sam will be missed greatly by his family. Our comfort comes from knowing that Sam is with the Lord and one day we will all be reunited in heaven. God is good!
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel
Online condolences may be made at



Immanuel Lutheran Church
1405 Sycamore Ave N
Roswell, NM  88201
Friday, June 12, 2015
10:30 AM
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