Minnie Thomas, 96
Minnie Thomas, 96, died on Monday, August 1, 2011 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls, MN.
Funeral service will be at 10:00 AM on Friday, August 5, 2011 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Rev. John Voelker, Ph.D. officiating. Burial will follow at East Bethlehem Cemetery in Strathcona, MN.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM on Friday at the church.
Minnie Aletta Haugtvedt Thomas, 14th child and 9th daughter of Syver and Gina (Pederson) Haugtvedt,
was born February 5, 1915 in Deer Township, Roseau County, MN. Mom was the last surviving child of
After moving away from home and while a waitress in Drayton, ND, mom met, fell in love with then on
May 29, 1941 married our dad, Walter Thomas. Their first home was a small house in Thief River Falls,
MN. From there they moved to Grand Forks, ND where we, Odette, Pam and Lowell, were born. In
1951 they moved back to Thief River Falls and started the Dairy Queen, which Mom ran. Meanwhile,
Dad managed Western Oil, and later drove truck for Stordahl Trucking and Arctic Enterprises.
Our parents’ lives were one of work. They taught us how to survive and how to support oneself as an
independent entrepreneur instilling old fashioned values of honesty, hard work and responsibility. All
three of us grew up in the Dairy Queen where we often looked in wonder at Mother as one of her
laughing fits caused her to double up in mirth as she silently laughed so hard she cried.
Mother liked to travel both before and after her marriage though bundling us into the car to head across
country had to have been more of a chore than a vacation. In her later years, Mother enjoyed several
winters in Florida with her sisters, Olga and Mabel. Mother was lively, fun and when young loved to
dance. She was concerned about doing what was “proper.” She was considerate, funny, strong and self
reliant. She had integrity and respect of and from others.
Mother “retired” from the Dairy Queen when she and Walt sold the business to daughter Odette and
son-in-law Orren in 1980. She continued to help always mentioning little “tricks of the trade” that made
things go better. In November of 2004 Mother moved to MN Greenleaf where she continued to live all
but the remaining days of her life. She was moved to the Thief River Care Center where she died
Monday, August 1, 2011 at age 96 and one-half.
Preceded in death by parents, 14 siblings, Emil Haugtvedt, Clara Gilbertson, Carl Haugtvedt, George Haugtvedt, Henry Haugtvedt, Hilda Olson, Selma Carlson, Alma Everson, Anna Forsness, Olga Haugtvedt, Mabel Haugtvedt, Gladys Myron, Palmer Haugtvedt, Selmer Haugtvedt, and her husband of 59 years; Mother is survived by three children – Odette Bendickson (Orren), Pam Holloway (Tim), and Lowell Thomas (Paula); as well as by seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Pall bearers are Steve Bendickson, Brian Jon Bendickson, Leslie Smith, Becky Williams, Jason Thomas,
Brian Spencer Bendickson and David Forsberg.
Honorary Pallbearers: Minnie’s friends at MN Greenleaf
Special Music: Paula Adamson & Greg Dally “Jesus Loves Me” Medley
Congregational Hymns: “Rock Of Ages”, “On Eagle’s Wings”