Russell M. Thorson died peacefully on April 22, 2015 in the loving care of family and friends. He was born on April 23, 1923 to Lena and Roy Thorson in rural Wadena County, Minn., and was the third of four children.
The family later moved to Grand Rapids, Minn., and Russ continued on to Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology. It was here he met and married Mildred Elquist. After working in Chicago in social work and becoming involved in the pacifist movement during WWII, Russell and Mildred moved to Waldron Island in 1948 with their two young sons. Here they lived a rugged, simple, self-sufficient lifestyle and added four more boys to the growing family.
Having exhausted the possibilities for livelihood on Waldron the family moved to Bellingham and later to Seattle.
Russ maintained his ties to Waldron and Bellingham until his death and always was a part of the social life and lore of those communities. In late life Russell resided at the Life Care Center in Friday Harbor where he was lovingly cared for by all the staff.
Russell is preceded in death by his sister Oveda and brothers Ken and Leigh. He is survived by six sons, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Russ will be memorialized in a simple family ceremony on Waldron.