James Thorn of La Crosse, Wisconsin passed away at his home on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the age of 55.
James Donald Thorn was born on September 3, 1960 to Arthur “Jim” Thorn and Claudia (Gouge) Thorn.
James lived in Minnesota until his 8th birthday when he moved with his mother and sisters to Seattle, Washington. At age 13, he moved back to Rush City with his father and step-mother. He worked through high school at the Holiday Station in Pine City and was an avid football and wrestling fan. He participated in both sports through his junior and senior years of high school and was fondly known throughout the school as “Diz.” He graduated from Rush City High School in 1979 with a full scholarship to Moorhead University, but he did not accept it. He was pretty proud of graduating from Rush City High School, because his dad and aunt had graduated from there as well. His younger sisters and brother followed suit some years later.
After graduating, he went on to marry his sweetheart. For 15 years, he worked at Red Owl where he was the head of maintenance in the bakery. James held various maintenance positions throughout his working years but at one point in his life he even dabbled with a professional wrestling career. Unfortunately, the wrestling career didn't last and James moved on to hold many different types of jobs that all had one thing in common: tinkering. He loved to tinker and was intrigued with figuring out what made things tick. Whether it was electricity or refrigeration, he was up for the challenge. You might say he was a jack of all trades.
A few years ago he took a job with a company that required a lot of international travel. It was during this time that he will tell you he met the love of his life, Monika. He married her and she moved with him to Minnesota where they made their home in Zimmerman. A short time ago, he began working at a job in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was pretty excited about this new company and the promise of a bright future. Unfortunately, it was shortly after he started his new position that he became ill and that time was short.
James was a very friendly man, he had a way of putting people at ease with some of his pretty exciting story telling. It was quite obvious it was a favorite time in his life to hear him tell these stories. “Susie” was his pet monkey that was a part of his gimmick as “jd the animal tamer.” James had a love for people, music, architecture and its history. He especially loved water and boating and often talked of getting a new boat. Not too long ago, he took a small pontoon out on the Mississippi River where he spent hours all by himself. This made him very happy. James was loved by many and his loss will be felt by all.
James is survived by his wife Monika Monhart of La Crosse, Wisconsin, step-daughter Annika Monhart and foster-son Christian Ley both of Cologne, Germany, father Arthur “Jim” and step-mom Virginia Thorn of Rush City, sisters Debra (Bob) Eaton of Spanaway, Washington, Cindy (Carl) Felder of Tacoma, Washington, Laurie (Bryan) Lundgren of Champlin, Melanie (Paul) Wendorff of Rush City, Becky (Lloyd) Graham of Tacoma, Washington, Melissa (Lowell) Jahnke of Casselton, North Dakota, brother Matthew Thorn of Fargo, North Dakota, many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his mother Claudia and nephew Brandon.
A Celebration of James’ life will be held from 2-4 PM Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Olson Funeral Chapel in Rush City.
Funeral arrangements for James Thorn are entrusted to the Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City-Olson Chapel. www.funeralandcremationservice.com