Kenneth Weldon Thorstenson
Kenneth Weldon Thorstenson of Selby, SD was a devoted family man who loved the farming and ranching life and shared his faith throughout his daily life. When diagnosed with a heart condition about a year ago, he counted each day a blessing from the Lord, continuing to do the things he loved. After putting in a hard day’s work on the farm, the man who was never idle found eternal rest when he passed away at his home Wednesday, May 5, 2010. He was 72 years old.
Ken was born April 15, 1938 in Mobridge, SD to August and Ida Thorstenson of Selby. He attended Monroe Country School and graduated from Selby High School in 1956. He attended SD State College and Aberdeen Business College briefly before returning to Selby to begin a lifetime of farming and ranching, eventually taking over his father’s farm. On June 1, 1962, he married JoElla Jucht at Bridgewater, SD. He also farmed for three years in Canada. The couple lived on the farm until 1988 when they built a home in Selby.
One of the early cattlemen to begin using Gelbvieh seedstock when first imported from Germany, Ken built up Thorstenson Gelbvieh & Angus which recently hosted its 29th annual production sale. He enjoyed delivering the sale bulls because it gave him a chance to get to know the bull customers personally.
When he was in his early teens, he accepted Christ as his Savior at Bethel Bible Camp. Living out his faith and passing down a Christian heritage to his children and grandchildren were very important to him. He was so proud of his grandchildren and made every effort to attend and support their many activities. His grandchildren will always treasure the family vacations and times playing cards and board games with Grandpa.
He served on numerous boards over the years including the SD Gelbvieh Association, which named him member of the year in 1993, and the Selby Equity Cooperative board. He was also named Young Farmer of the Year during his earlier years farming.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, JoElla, a son, Vaughn (Wendy) Thorstenson, Selby; three daughters, Trudi (Tad) Broschat, Castle Rock, CO, DeDee (Brian) Begeman, Selby, Darci (Tim) Welling, Ashland, NE; 12 grandchildren, Gina, Kendra, Jana and Kara Thorstenson, Taylor and Tanner Broschat, John, Trevor, Wade and Brenden Begeman, and Danae and Toby Welling; two brothers, Norm (Sally) Thorstenson, Selby, and Lawrence (Dee) Thorstenson, Kerrville, TX; two sisters-in-law, Marlys Schmidt, Wentworth, and Gert Thorstenson, McLaughlin; a brother-in-law, Maurice Dance, Castro Valley, CA, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, two brothers, August “Bud” and Cal; and a sister, Margaret.
Funeral services were held Saturday, May 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Family Worship Center in Mobridge with the Reverend Paul Hathaway officiating. A family service was held Friday night. Burial was in Bethlehem Cemetery near Selby under the direction of Stout Funeral Home of Mobridge.
Pallbearers included Paul Thorstenson, Rory Thorstenson, Skip Rau, Lonnie Vander Vorst, Jeff Lesch and Dustin Burggraff, Dr. Steve Frusher and Art Borth.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News