Leonard Leslie Thorsen, 86, of 10812 T.6 Lane, Rapid River, died Friday, January 3, 2020 at U.P. Health System – Marquette. Leonard was born February 9, 1933 in Escanaba, and was the son of Semer and Elsie (Kull) Thorsen. Leonard graduated from Rapid River High School in 1952. He married the former Joyce Olson on May 9, 1959 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba, MI. Leonard was employed by the Delta County Road & Commission for 41 years as a heavy equipment operator and was promoted to foreman, retiring in 1994. He also was employed at Marvic Construction, Inc. in Escanaba, MI for 25 years as a heavy equipment operator. Leonard was an active member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid River, MI. He served on the church council. He gave his time to anyone who asked, whenever help was needed, and he enjoyed volunteering his time, especially at his church. He was a sports enthusiast that loved the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Tigers. He enjoyed playing dartball at Calvary Lutheran Church, and horseshoes in Stonington. He also played softball for the Delta County Church Softball League, and coached the Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball teams. Leonard also managed the softball teams for Bill’s Bar and The Swallow Inn. He loved camping and going to the Rapid River High School basketball games. He was a member of the Swedish Club, and the Teamsters Local 406. Leonard was a kind, generous, humble, hardworking family man. He was well respected in the community for his trust, worthiness, and dedication. Leonard was also a man of few words, but a well-liked person. In his later years, his sense of humor came alive and he had plenty of one-liners. Leonard also loved spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joyce Thorsen of Rapid River; son, Pastor Bruce (John Williams) Thorsen of Quakertown, PA; daughter, Susan (Richard) Karau of Milwaukee, WI; grandson, Michael Karau of Moorhead, MN; 6 great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol (Bill) Hall of Glenside, PA, Shirley Heckel of Gladstone, and Esther (Joe) Niverth of Stonington; sisters-in-law, MaryAnn Thorsen of Escanaba, and Rosie Thorsen of Stonington; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Leonard was preceded in death by his eight brothers, Victor, Lester, Marvin, Clifford, Ronald, Raymond, Wallace, and William Semer; four sisters, Frances Johnson, Alice Pearson, Marian Lindahl, and Betty Bolm; grandson, Christopher (CJ) Karau; and granddaughter, Melissa Karau Schmidt.
Visitation will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, January 10, 2020 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services celebrating the life of Leonard will follow at 4:00 p.m., Friday, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rapid River with Rev. Stephen Gauger officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services in the church fellowship hall. Burial will take place in Lakewood Cemetery in Stonington.
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