Shirley Thomsen


January 13, 1928 - November 16, 2017


Shirley Gail Thomsen, 89, peacefully left this world and went to her eternal home in Heaven on November 16th surrounded by her family. Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 21st from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at Northridge Baptist Church, 323 West 23rd Avenue, in Mitchell, SD. The funeral will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 22nd at Northridge Baptist Church, followed by a luncheon.  A private graveside service at will follow lunch for immediate family only. Arrangements are under the direction of Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Martha Borchard of Spencer, IA, Shirley had also lost one sister and two brothers. She recently mourned the loss of her husband, Gordon Thomsen, in August 2016. They would have been married 70 years this past September.  She is survived by a sister, Joan Price of Bradenton, FL and brother, Howard (Carol) Borchard of Hartley, IA and a number of nieces and nephews.

Grateful for having shared her life are her children: Jackie Morrison (Don Lura) of Mitchell, Suzanne Thomsen, a former resident of Mitchell, currently residing in Tucson, AZ, Bill Thomsen (Julie Fliegel) of Del Mar, CA, Jerry Thomsen (Pam Thomsen) of Mitchell, and Jenny Trom who resides in Columbia, MO.  Also saddened by her loss are 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, who all adored “Grandma Shirley.” Regardless of how she was feeling at the time, and until the end of her life, she would perk up and smile whenever they were near.

Shirley was born on a farm near Ashton, Iowa in January of 1928. She attended country schools until junior high and graduated from Spencer High School in Spencer, IA. After her marriage to her high school sweetheart, Gordon, in 1947, the couple operated a farm near Spencer. Within a few years, they moved into town as Gordon began a sales career that would eventually bring them to Mitchell, SD in 1970. A 47 year resident of Mitchell, Mrs. Thomsen worked alongside her husband to help create what was to become Trail King Industries, Inc.

Shirley and her husband were very philanthropic and have generously supported a number of groups in the Mitchell area. The Thomsen Center Archeodome at the Prehistoric Indian Village is a great testament to their commitment to giving to the community. A few of the many projects influenced by the Thomsens include the Abbott House, where Shirley served on the board, and LifeQuest, where she is recognized as a “Spirit of LifeQuest Award” recipient.  Most recently, the couple contributed to the Mitchell Performing Arts Center where the band room bears their name.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Abbott House, 317 West Havens Avenue, Mitchell, SD, 57301.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Prayer Service begins at 6:30 PM

Northridge Baptist Church
323 W 23rd Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Wednesday, November 22, 2017
10:30 AM
Northridge Baptist Church
323 W 23rd Ave
Mitchell, SD 57301


Graceland Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by Jeff & Deanna Heppler on November 22, 2017
Always enjoyed working for Shirley and Gordon. Special people for sure. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Posted by Stan and Donna Nelson on November 21, 2017
Prayers to the family...she was so special to us
Posted by Charlie & Wanda Kobes on November 20, 2017
So sorry for your loss Thomsen family . You all are in our prayers .
Posted by James Preston on November 20, 2017
Jenny: We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers will continue for you and your family.
Posted by Louie & Laurie Cooper on November 20, 2017
Our sincerest condolences to the Thomsen family. She was a great woman who will be missed by all.
Posted by Gary & Kay Shafer on November 18, 2017
We send our Sympathy to the Shirley Thomsen family. May all the good Memories of life with her bring you Comfort & Peace all these days. The loss of a mother can never be replaced, but the love of a mother can never be lost.
Posted by Bermie and Mary Ann Van Wassenhove on November 18, 2017
A beautiful soul is reunited in heaven with Gordon.. We are holding all of you in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.
Posted by Ernie & Deb Hohn on November 17, 2017
Our sympathies, to your family.
Posted by Jackie Christiansen on November 17, 2017
Jerry, Pam, and all of the Thomsen family. Deepest condolences to all of you. May the Lord comfort you.
Posted by Byran and Jenna Doorn on November 17, 2017
So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to all of you.
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