Funeral Service for Allan Gene Thorstad, 70, formerly of Dickinson will be Monday, June 14, at 11:00 a.m., MT at Stevenson Funeral Home, Dickinson, ND with Pastor Mike Pretzer officiating. Visitation will be for one hour before the service. Burial will take place on Tuesday, June 15, at 1 PM Central Time at the ND Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan, ND.
Allan died at the Villa Maria in Fargo, ND, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Son of Edwin and Arleen (Nodland) Thorstad, Allan was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, baptized at Vang Lutheran Church in Dunn County, confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church and attended Dickinson’s Roosevelt and Central Elementary Schools. In 1968 he graduated from Dickinson High School. During high school he was a member of the cross-country and track teams and was elected Most Valuable Runner during his senior year.
Earning athletic scholarships, Allan attended Dickinson State College and graduated in 1972 with a major in Physical Education and a minor in Journalism. During his college years he was sports editor of the college paper and a member of the track and cross-country teams. Each year his cross-country team was in the top 10 in the ND/SD conference. The spring of 1972, during Allan’s senior year, his team was inducted into the DSC Hall of Fame.
After college Allan traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, to visit his sister Evie and family and worked there until 1975 when he joined the U.S. Navy and was sent to the San Diego, California, Naval Base for basic training. Thereafter, he was stationed at the Naval Base in Pensacola, Florida, where he was schooled as a communications and teletype technician and met and married his Master Chief Petty Officer’s daughter, Rose Lewandowsky. Norfolk, Virginia, was his next assignment. There he was trained as a welder. His next assignment for 16 months was at the NAS Sigonella Navy Base in Sicily, Italy, where he worked as a welder on an AFDM--Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock, repairing destroyers and aircraft that flew bombing missions over Viet Nam. Allan was a member of that crew for two trips over Viet Nam. During this time, the Air Force Commanding Officer helped him move into a rental house in Catania, Sicily. On his days off, Allan traveled around Europe and Northern Africa. In 1979 he was honorably discharged.
Thereafter, Allan and Rose divorced, and Allan moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where he found work as a welder. Following a family reunion in Denver, he stayed and worked as a security officer for the Colorado Women’s College. Then Allan worked as a security officer in a mall in Aurora, CO, where he met Anita Phillips; they married in 1987. In 1989 they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Allan worked in sales and security. He and Anita divorced in 1994.
Allan then moved back to Dickinson, ND, and worked as a painter until his health no longer allowed him to work. With a willing heart, he was always good to help others and ready to take on any challenging task that family or friends asked of him.
An avid lover of the outdoors, Allan enjoyed camping, hiking, and traveling. Writing poetry was a passion. He loved his family and attended almost every family reunion. Those reunions brought him great joy. Allan was also a member of the Dickinson American Legion, Post 3.
Surviving Allan are four brothers: Gordon (Anita) Thorstad, Tucson, AZ, Jerry (Deb Wolfe) Thorstad, Dickinson, ND, Ron (Cynthia) Thorstad, Denver, CO, and Lyman (Patricia) Larson, Boise, ID; one sister Norma Thorstad Knapp, Alexandria, MN; one uncle George (Kayleen) Nodland, Dickinson, ND; many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and a dear friend Rita Weiss.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister Evelyn (Thorstad) Snyder; a brother Michael Thorstad; and a brother-in-law Fred Snyder.
Enormous thank yous to the staff at the Villa Maria and the staff at Hospice of the Red River Valley in Fargo for their incredible dedication to Allan. They brought compassion, knowledge, and light to Allan’s journey. These teams went above and beyond Allan’s behalf.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Hospice of the Red River Valley or to the Vang Cemetery Fund (American Bank Center, Killdeer, ND) or wherever the donor chooses.