Nature 14

Vernon Raymond Thorsten

February 21, 1926 ~ November 8, 2020 (age 94)

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Vernon Thorsten, 94 of Aitkin, passed away Sunday, November 8, 2020 at Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin.  He was born on Feb 21, 1926 in Santiago to Tony and Tina (Peterson) Thorsten. After graduating from Becker High School, he joined the US Navy and was deployed on the USS Logan to Iwo Jima, Japan during WWII.  After being Honorably Discharged, he worked on the transport ships hauling iron ore across the Great Lakes. Vernon was united in marriage to Inez Allie in January of 1956 and they made their home in Aitkin. They owned several businesses in town. The Tip Top Cafe and Dutch’s Pool Hall (later renamed “Vern’s Bar and Grill).  Vernon attended school and became an electrician, working on power plants throughout the state of Minnesota. He was a very proud member of the IBEW.  Always an avid hunter and fisherman, Every October he traveled to Montana. If Vernon wasn’t at home, it was a safe bet you could find him at The Landing playing cards. Maybe at a table with Vernon Nelson (“The Judge”), Quint Hanson, Russell Sutherland, Bob Beal, Russell Riggs, and Carl Kurtz!  He didn’t go too far without jars of his homemade strawberry jam, and bags of wild rice ready to share with others.  He enjoyed life and made lasting friendships wherever he went. He really never met a stranger!  He enjoyed spending time with his grandkids and great grandkids and they certainly adored him. 

Vernon was preceded in death by his wife, Inez. His parents, Tony and Tina Thorsten. Stepsons, Dennis and Douglas Gardner. Brothers, John, Herb, Buddy. Sisters, Olga, Hilda, Elna, Alice, Patty. 

He is survived by his daughter Janet Leone, daughter-in-law, Janet Gardner. Grandchildren, Sarah, Greg, David, Stephen and Jennifer.  Great grandchildren, Haley, MacKenzie, Trevor, Kylii. Great-great grandchildren, Odin and Annabelle.  Vernon is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews other relatives and special friends from the Landing of whom he was very fond. 

As was Vernon’s wish: No formal service will be held and his ashes will be scattered in the Mountains of Montana this summer.  Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Aitkin assisted with arrangements.  Please go to to leave a message of condolence.

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