Clifford Clyde Thom, 89, Velva, formerly of Minot, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in a Velva care center.
Clifford was born May 15, 1924, in Russell to Bernhardt "Ben" and Frieda (Amon) Thom, the oldest of nine children. He was raised in the Russell area and attended local schools. He worked on the farms of his uncles, Bennie and Robert, where he learned to love farming.
Clifford joined the Navy in 1944 and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV14) in the western Pacific. He was discharged at Alameda, Calif., in 1946 and returned to farming in the Upham area. On Sept. 14, 1947, Clifford was united in marriage to Ann Moen, the youngest daughter of Peter and Petrina Moen. They were married at the Stenkjaer Lutheran Church in Simcoe, with Pastor Norman Nielsen officiating.
For the first five years, Clifford and Ann made their home in Minot, where he worked as a salesman for Krebsbachs Farm Equipment Company. It was during these years that their first two children were born, Curtis, in 1951, and David, in 1952. In 1951, Clifford rented some land near Ann's mother's home and began farming in North Prairie Township. In the spring of 1953, he rented additional land and the family moved to a farmstead just three miles from where Ann was raised. Their third child, a daughter, Eileen, was born in the fall of 1953 and their fourth child, Donald was born in 1958. They purchased the farm in the early 1960s and farmed there until retiring in 1987.
During those years, Clifford was also active in the Farmers Union, Sons of Norway, Velva American Legion Post 39 and served as Sunday school superintendent for 21 years and on the church council of Stenkjaer Lutheran Church. He served on the boards of directors of the Simcoe Farmers Union Elevator, McHenry County ASCS, North Prairie Township and First Western Bank from 1970-1996.
After retirement, Clifford and Ann moved back to Minot, where they lived in the Green Acres addition for 24 years. During this time, they traveled throughout the U.S. in their motor home. Unable to just quit farming, Clifford helped his son David on the farm for several years. He enjoyed taking care of their home in Minot and gardening. He also enjoyed wood and metal working hobbies. David introduced him to the game of golf and thereafter he could be found at Wildwood Golf Course having a great time with friends. His love for community service found him volunteering as a hall manager for Norsk Hstfest and many community activities with the Golden K's.
They moved to Valley View Manor in Velva in November 2012. Ann and Clifford have enjoyed their close-knit growing family ever so much more in these last years.
Clifford is survived by: his four children, Curtis Thom, Minot, David (Bonnie) Thom, Granville, Eileen (Bryan) Giese, Mandan, Donald (Marsha) Thom, Minot; grandchildren, Megan (Kyle Kruger), Pequot Lakes, Minn., Nolan, of Norwich, Kendra (Nathan Faa) of Norwich, Christopher (Lisa) Giese, of Fargo, Rachelle (Brad Putnam) of Stillwater, Minn., and Kimberly (Stephen Bryan) of Durham, N.C.; 11 great-grandchildren; brother, Clayton (Myra) Thom, Minot; sister, Lois (Tony) Kupser, Minot; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Clifford was preceded in death by: his wife, Ann; parents, Ben and Frieda Thom; brothers, Harley, Willard, Sheldon and infant Otto; sisters, Violet Gartner and infant Dixie.
Celebration of the Life of Clifford Thom: Monday, Jan. 13, at 11 a.m. in Oak Valley Lutheran Church, Velva.
Interment: Stenkjaer Lutheran Church Cemetery, Simcoe.
Visitation: Sunday, Jan. 12, from noon to 5 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials are preferred to Souris Valley Care Center, Valley View Manor or the Stenkjaer Lutheran Church Cemetery Association.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).