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Orval F. Thorson III

November 14, 1937 ~ October 10, 2021 (age 83)

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Orval “Thor” F. Fowler Thorson, III of Plum Island (Newburyport), MA passed away peacefully on October 10, 2021 at the age of 83 with his family by his bedside.

Thor was born on November 14, 1937 in Evanston, Illinois to Federica and Orval F. Fowler, II. He attended the University of Colorado where he received his undergraduate, and Master of Arts degree in 1962. He proudly served as a Lieutenant in in the U.S. Navy, specializing in celestial navigation. He then served as an Assistant Professor of Naval Sciences from 1968-1969 and of the Center for International Studies from 1969-1971 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his early years, Thor earned a living chartering sail boats along the East Coast, with destinations from Maine, to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Grenada. Later, he established his own business where he specialized in procuring antique oriental rugs, which was his labor of love for over 50 years. Thor liked to talk about world history and cultures of other countries, taking particular pride in his Norwegian heritage. He also enjoyed playing bocce, tennis and golf, and watching his home baseball teams, the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox. He loved to cook, and sought exotic ingredients for all of his dishes. One of his favorite past times was spent reading a book with a cup of Oolong tea. Gardening was also a passion of his. He enjoyed spending time in Florida, Grenada, and his home on Plum Island where he resided for over 45 years.

Thor is survived by his life partner of 30 years, Susan; his daughter Thora, her husband Derek; his daughter Quenby; his son, Thorvald; and his grandchildren, Shane, Liam, Torvald and Lucas; Susan’s children, Lisa, and her husband Scott; and Caroline and grandchildren Harley and Jake.

Services for Mr. Thorson will be private.

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