Evelyn Thomsen, 100, of Mitchell, SD, died Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell. A Celebration of Life Service will be 10:00 AM Saturday, July 24, 2021 at Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene in Mitchell. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Fulton, SD. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Evelyn Gladys (Ness) Thomsen was born July 25, 1920 on a farm in Miner County north of Fulton, SD to Ed and Vollie Ness. She attended the Glee Lake Rural School and graduated from Plano Consolidated School as Salutatorian of the Class of 1938. Evelyn attended Eastern State Normal School in Madison, SD where she obtained her teaching certificate. She then taught at Hanson County for two years and Sanborn County for two years. After teaching she worked for Montgomery Ward Company in Mitchell, SD in a clerical position. Evelyn was united in marriage to the love of her life, Melvin C. Thomsen, on April 9, 1944. Melvin was drafted to serve in the US Army in January 1945 until November 1946. While Melvin was serving in Japan and the Philippines, Evelyn worked at the South Dakota Farmers Union in Mitchell, SD. In 1947, the family moved to a farm for one year until Melvin gained employment at Farmers Union Central Exchange (CENEX) of St Paul, MN. During this time Evelyn chose to lovingly raise their three children. Melvin’s position required the family to live in several places including Wessington, SD, Thief River Falls, MN, Tracy, MN, Dawson, MN, and West St. Paul, MN. In 1964 Melvin took a leave of absence to spend two years in Uganda, East Africa as a Cooperative Management Advisor for the US Department of State Agency for International Development (USAID). Evelyn and family enjoyed this special opportunity immensely. Evelyn went back to work in 1969 as an Estates Accountant for the First Trust Company of St. Paul, MN. The couple retired in 1982 and moved back home to Mitchell, SD. where they were long time active members of the Harvest Community Church of the Nazarene.
For their entire married life Evelyn rarely drove the family car. In May, 1998, on the way to a hospital in Sioux Falls, SD where Melvin was scheduled to have open heart surgery, he turned to Evelyn and gave her the keys to the car. He said, “You might need these.” Little did they know that Melvin would never drive again as he passed away July 11, 1998 of complications from the surgery. A widow at age 78, Evelyn accepted the challenge of having to drive herself to wherever she needed to go. She enjoyed spending her retired years playing table games with friends and relatives. Her favorites included Phase 10, Mexican Train and Bingo and she was incredibly competitive.
As a devout Christian she looked forward to the day when she would meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Evelyn passed away on April 6, 2021, at the age 100 after a brief illness eighteen days after her last sibling, Maynard Ness passed away.
Evelyn is survived by her children, Wanda Joy and husband Michael Baker, Mitchell SD; two sons, Les and wife Lane Thomsen, San Antonio, TX; Vandy and wife Paula Thomsen, Independence, MO; six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents Ed and Vollie Ness, her husband Melvin Thomsen and brothers: Elmon (Irene) Ness, Maynard Ness and Kenneth Ness, sisters: baby Grace Ness and Mildred (Norman) Holmes.