Russell Thomsen

January 8, 1934 ~ September 5, 2020 (age 86)


Thomsen, Russell of Hopkins passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 5, 2020. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary, by his parents, Arnold and Alberta Thomsen and brother Bill. He is survived by his daughter: Jennifer (Patrick) Watson and grandsons Maxwell and Andrew.  He is also survived by cousins, notably David (Julie) Thomsen with whom he was very close, nieces and nephews and many longtime friends.


Russ was born on January 8, 1934 in Sidney, NE.  Perhaps this is where his strong work ethic was cultivated- while working alongside his parents first at their lunch counter/gas station in Colon, NE and then later on their farm in Grove City, MN. Russ went on to graduate from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1955; he was a lifelong proud Gustie.  Russ volunteered for the draft and honorably served his Country in the United States Army until 1957.  After his honorable discharge, Russ began his career in education in Wheaton, MN, teaching science and social studies and coaching football and basketball.  During the summers he attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota to earn his school counselor certification.  In 1960 he began working at Minnetonka High School as a guidance counselor, a position he found fulfilling, until his retirement in 1993. Russ and Mary were married in June of 1965 and were blessed with 51 years together. 


Russ enjoyed many hobbies including gardening, photography, camping, golfing and fishing.  Some of his fondest memories were of the many golfing and fishing trips he took with his friends.  He loved nature and being outdoors.  Russ was a proud and loving father and grandfather.  Words will never be able to express the lessons he taught and the opportunities he gave us.  His interest in history and biographies together with the legacy of writings, pictures and other historical documents left to him by his mother led to a deep interest in genealogy.  He researched each branch of his family tree and put together their historical story; this family history will be passed on through generations.   He was always civic minded and truly lived his life by the words “do unto others.” He volunteered in a number of ways through his church and in serving Meals on Wheels. 

Russ was a humble, generous, wise and caring man who is deeply missed. 

Memorials to Meals on Wheels preferred in lieu of flowers: 500 Blake Road S., Hopkins, MN 55343. 

A small service will be held on Friday, September 11 at 11:00 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hopkins following COVID and social distancing rules, with a private interment at Fort Snelling. 

To send flowers to Russell's family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
September 11, 2020

11:00 AM
Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Hopkins, Fort Snelling)

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