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Ralph Thoren Sr.

Ralph L. Thoren Sr., 92, of Solon, died at home Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. Services were held Oct. 24 at the Shueyville United Methodist Church, by the Rev. Tom Carver. Burial was at Shueyville Cemetery, with military rites.
Survivors include his children, Roxanne (Ted) Youngton of Cedar Rapids, Ralph (Jane) Thoren Jr. of Fairmont, Minn., and Key West, Fla., and Rhonda (Mike) Tullis of Marion; stepdaughter Betty (Jim) Southern of Newton; 17 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; sister Marilyn Travis of Cedar Rapids; brother Gilbert “Junior” (Norma) Thoren of Hiawatha; and sisters-in-law Nancy Thoren and Ann Thoren, both of Des Moines.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; his wives, Betty Thoren and Fern Thoren; son Rod Thoren; stepson Bob Kenyon; granddaughter Kerry Lynn Philipp; step-granddaughter Debbie Southern Brown; great-grandson Drake Whitters; and great-granddaughter Kylie Thoren. Also preceding him in death were his siblings, Elmer Thoren, Alvin Thoren, LaVerne Thoren, Ruth Webb, twins Ila and Ilene Thoren, Esther Thoren, Ellen Thoren and Ernest Thoren; and brother-in-law, Wendell Travis.
Born Dec. 17, 1918, in Des Moines, Ralph was the son of Gilbert and Minnie (Johnson) Thoren. He graduated in 1938 from East High School in Des Moines. Ralph joined the United States Army in 1941. Upon his discharge in 1945, he returned to the Des Moines area and worked for Lambs Dental Lab. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserves from 1947 until 1950. Ralph was united in marriage in 1945 to Betty Tucker in Indiana. The couple moved to Hiawatha in 1961 and Ralph went into partnership with his brother Gilbert (Junior) in a denture lab. They later moved to the Solon area. Ralph went to work in maintenance for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 1974. Betty died in 1976. Ralph married Melissa “Fern” Kenyon in 1978. Fern died in June 2007.
Ralph was a member of the Shueyville United Methodist Church and was a freemason belonging to the Cedar Rapids Mizpah Masonic Lodge 639. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed snowmobiling, square dancing, league bowling and boating with his family.
Ralph was devoted to his family and will be remembered as the greatest dad and grandfather.
Memorials may be directed to the Shueyville United Methodist Church, 1195 Steeple Ln. NE, Swisher, IA 52338.
Please sign the online guest book for Ralph at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.