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Helen M. Thoreen, 96

Helen Malise (Olson) Johnson Thoreen, age 96, of Dassel, died Monday, June 28, 2010, at her home.

A memorial service will take place Thursday, July 8 at 5 p.m at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Rev. John Peterson officiating.

There will be a time to gather with family one hour prior to the service at the church.

The interment of the urn will take place at the Brookings Lutheran Cemetery in Brookings, SD at a later date.

The Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel is in charge of the memorial arrangements.

Helen was born Sept. 26, 1913, in Egan, SD, the daughter of Martha Malise (Amundson) and John Olson. She was baptized and confirmed at the Lutheran Church in Moody County, SD.

While attending high school in Egan, she worked for her room and board as a housekeeper.

Helen married Ole B. Johnson June 20, 1931, in Madison, SD. Together, they raised five children while farming in Moody County until 1952, at which time they moved to their hobby farm in Flandreau, SD. They also resided in VanNuys, CA 1953-54.

Following Ole’s passing in 1970, Helen met Vernon Thoreen. They were united in marriage April 3, 1971, at Calvery Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

In 1972, Helen and Vern started Thoreen Manor, a board and lodging home for the mentally challenged. They ran the home together until 1982, at which time they retired. In 1974, they moved to Coon Lake, where they resided until 1991.

Helen and Vern were winter Texans, spending five months a year in Brownsville, from 1981 through 1992.

In 1991, they moved to Dassel, where they have resided since.

At the time of her death, Helen was a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel.

She was also a member of the VFW 4210 Auxiliary, a lifetime member of the Coon Lake Community Association, Eagles Aerie 1247, Service Employees International Union, and Dassel Senior Center.

Helen is survived by her sons, Ordale (Charolette) Johnson, of Ventura, CA, and James (Raome) Johnson, of Mandan, ND; daughters Janice (Thomas) Schwartz of Coon Rapids, and Joanne (Ken) Kotila of Dassel; and daughter-in-law Judy Albright of Sioux Falls, SD.

She is further survived by grandchildren, Teresa Throckmorton, Tracy (George) Maxson, Susan (William) Salgueiro, Patrica Johnson, James Johnson Jr., Paul (Gail) Johnson, Erik (Anna) Johnson, Denise Schwartz, Dana (Dustin) Hoenigschmidt, Wayne (Gena) Jacobson, Tamra (Brian) Boltz, Kristina (Joel) Rokala, and Malise Jacobson; and great-grandchildren Bryant and Brenden Throckmorton, Shaun and Kelly Maxson, Holly Salgueiro, Jeremiah, Jessica, and James M. Johnson, Cory and Callie Johnson, Kaylea and Kori Hoenigschmidt, Deanna, Paul, Graham, and Sam Jacobson, Brianna, Alissa, and Tyler Boltz, Breanna, Brenden, and Benjamin Rokala, and Talan Jacobson.

Helen is also survived by a sister, Viola Peper of Flandreau SD; a brother, Robert Olson of Thousand Oaks, CA; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by husbands Ole Johnson and Vernon Thoreen; son Duane Johnson; grandson Mark Johnson; daughter-in-law Marilyn Johnson; her parents; and five siblings.