Dennis Thorson passed away peacefully on July 21, in
St. George, Utah, with his family at his side. He was born in
Duluth, Minn., on Feb 1, 1935, and moved to Fontana, Calif.,
in 1944 on his 9th birthday. He attended local schools and
went to Chaffey High School in Ontario, Calif. He graduated
in 1953 and joined the Army in 1954. He went to Korea
arriving just after the war was over and helped moved men
off front lines. After he returned he went to Chaffey College
while working at Kaiser Steel.
In June of 1957, he married Doris Joye and they celebrated
62 years together in June. They moved to Desert Hot Springs
in 1960 when Dennis went to work through the Electrical
Union in the desert. He got his contractor’s license in 1965
and began his own business, Thorson Electric. He was active in DHS, joining the volunteer
Fire department, becoming a member of the local Planning Commission, elected to the
Water Board, and was president of the Rotary Club that was responsible for the building
of the Wardman Park, the local library, building of the Youth Club and various other
projects. He was also instrumental in helping to start a local Little League organization.
He was active in the National Electrical Contractors Association in Riverside, being on
the board of directors and serving a term as president. He loved his work and was very
proud of the many projects he worked on in the Coachella Valley. He also worked for a
time on the Alaska Pipeline.
He loved fishing and hunting and would plan a hunt every year with his buddies. In the
1980s, he and Doris purchased a second home in Pinedale, in preparation for retirement.
They spent many years there as snow birds, where the children and grandchildren could
come to vacation or spend summers. He loved entertaining friends who came to visit
and Dennis would show them his favorite fishing spots and the wonders of the beautiful
mountains surrounding them. He also took up woodworking and bought a sawmill so he
could make his own lumber from the trees in the forest. This brought friends and neighbors
around to help. He loved reading books on historical fiction and studied facts about the
Pinedale area, families and ranches.
He and Doris loved to travel making numerous trips to Europe over the years where
Doris had family. Canada, Mexico, Central America and the U.S. were also on their list
of travels. He loved to look up old friends from the Army, school and various places he
worked. If he could find them, it was never out of his way to detour a bit to visit. He was
active in the local American Legion and also the VFW, which was the central part of most
social activities in their lives. He always made sure his family and friends knew how lucky
he was to have married Doris as she was always supportive of his adventures. He was a
wonderful example of unconditional love for his family and friends. The grandchildren
were his pride and joy and as well as great-grandchildren in the last 10 years. Although his
health had been failing the past few years, he never complained and death was unexpected.
Dennis leaves his wife Doris; four children, daughters Victoria Show, Denise (Steve)
Austin, Michelle Cockrell, and son Vincent (Laura); his grandchildren, Breanna Nelson,
Brittany (Ryan) Hunter, Jared (Kelsey) Cockrell, Jordan Cockrell, Bryson (Megan) Show
and Randy Austin; and six beautiful great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents Eldon and Barbara Thorson, his sister Pat Stevens
and grandson Joshua Austin.
A Celebration of his Life Service will be hosted at the VFW Post 4801, at 1033 W. Pine
St., Pinedale, on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 4:30 p.m., with dinner following.