PORTLAND Arnold Theodore "Ted" Thonstad died on Nov. 15, surround by family in Portland. He was 88.
He was born on Feb. 21, 1918 in Spearfish, S.D., to Olaf and Clara Severson Thonstad.
Ted grew up in Salem where he moved with his mother at the age of 7.
He was a proud member of the first graduating class from North Salem High School in 1937. He was an honor student and attended Willamette University.
He moved to North Bend, Wash., where he met and married Avis L. Palmer on Sept. 17, 1940 in Lewiston, Idaho. Ted and Avis were married for 66 years and had four sons.
Ted started with Puget Sound Power and Light as a guard in December 1941 and was promoted into powerhouse operations in February 1942. He was granted a leave of absence to serve in the Armed Forces during the war and returned to Puget Sound after his discharge in 1946. The family moved to Coulee Dam, Wash., in 1947 and finally settled in Umatilla in 1953 where he became a power plant operator at McNary Dam with the Army Corps of Engineers retiring on June 12, 1976.
Ted was a veteran of World War II and served in the United States Navy from January 1944 to January 1946 when he was honorably discharged with a rank of Water Tender 3rd Class.
Ted was an active member of Tuscan Masonic Lodge #136 AF&AM, Umatilla Chapter #107 Order of the Eastern Star and the Baker Valley Scottish Rite. He faithfully attended Hermiston United Methodist Church for 49 years and is a life member of the VFW post in Hermiston.
Service to his family and community was a way of life for Ted. He was secretary of the McNary Boy Scout Troop Parent Advisory Council, member of Umatilla Little League Board, and president of Umatilla Teenager Organization. He served on the Umatilla District School board, the Umatilla Rural fire department district as secretary, as a member of the vector board for several years and was recognized by the city of Umatilla for his volunteer maintenance of a small park in his neighborhood.
Gardening was one of his favorite pastimes and his yard was a perennial bouquet of flowers. He provided boxes of tomatoes and buckets of raspberries for family, friends and neighbors.
Ted focused on maintaining a close-knit family with frequent family gatherings including an annual family trip to the beach and supporting his grandchildren in whatever activity they were engaged. He was the leader of the pack.
Ted is survived by his wife of 66 years, Avis Lorraine Thonstad of Rose Villa in Portland; three sons, Alfred "Ted" Thonstad of Sisters, Gib Thonstad of Milwaukie, and Ralph Thonstad of Portland; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren
He was preceded in death by a half-sister Dorothy Furey; and his infant son Dennis Palmer Thonstad.
Funeral Services were held on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Burns Mortuary Chapel in Hermiston. Burial with military honors will followed at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Umatilla.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shrine Hospital for Crippled Children in Portland, the Hermiston United Methodist Church, or the charity of your choice.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of the arrangements.