Vaughn Thorfinnson – Obit

Vaughn Thorfinnson passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at Hillcrest Senior Living in Red Lake Falls MN.

Memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Red Lake Falls with Reverend John Bumgardner officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.

Vaughn Richard Thorfinnson was born June 6, 1929 at Katheryn, ND, son of the late Snorri and Olive (Eidsvig) Thorfinnson. He attended Forman High School graduating in 1947. On August 26, 1950 Vaughn was united in marriage to Mildred Mohberg at Forman, ND. Vaughn went on to receive a BA degree in Agricultural Education and Sciences in 1951, and a MS degree in Entomology and Animal Husbandry in 1952 from NDSU in Fargo, ND. Vaughn entered the US Army in 1952 and was an instructor at Fort Lee, VA until his honorable discharge in 1954.

Following his discharge he was employed as a County Extention Agent in Stutsman County in Jamestown, ND for one year, and then took a position as Vocational Agriculture Instructor in Lisbon, ND. In 1964 he attended UND in Grand Forks, MN and earned a MS degree in Counseling and Guidance.

In 1965 the family moved to Red Lake Falls where he took a position as Counselor in the Red Lake Falls School system. In 1967 he began working as Vocational Adjustment Coordinator for seven school systems in NW Minnesota, a position which he held for 21 years, and which expanded to cover all school and disability groups in Red Lake, Pennington, East Marshall and Roseau counties. He helped to establish the Occupational Development Center in Thief River Falls, MN, and also assisted in the development of the Region 1 Regional Development Commission and served as president for 12 years.

Vaughn enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing golf, gardening, woodworking and trap shooting. He was an avid reader and enjoyed following his children and grandchildren in sports and activities. He taught his sons and many other boys how to pitch a baseball, and always, always made time for his family.

He was a very active member of St. John Lutheran Church in Red Lake Falls, MN, and the Lutheran Laymen’s League, which led to his traveling all over NW Minnesota and Canada; the Red Lake Falls Lions Club; and the American Legion Post. He was a member of the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation, and served as Mayor of Red Lake Falls for over 25 years, and as a Board Member and officer of the League of Minnesota Cities for six years.

Vaughn is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Mildred, of Red Lake Falls, MN; children Kristi Thorfinnson of Crookston, MN, Dennis (Kristin) Thorfinnson of Gillette, WY and David (Karen) Thorfinnson of East Grand Forks, MN; grandchildren Jeffrey, Zachary, Hannah, Tanner, Nick and Jon; great-grandchildren Teddy, Vance, Dirk, Magnus and Miles; brother Bruce (Faith) Thorfinnson of Glenwood, MN; sister-in-law JoAnn Thorfinnson of Fort Ransom, ND along with numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son Richard, his parents, brothers Roger and Hugh, and sister Kaaren Thorfinnson, and an infant granddaughter, Elizabeth Marie.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Hospice of the Red River Valley, Riverview Health, or Hillcrest Senior Living in Red Lake Falls.