Keith Leon Thor
5/8/39 – 5/7/23
On May 7, 2023, we lost our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to so many. Keith was born in Wilton, North Dakota on May 8, 1939, in the same town where his parents were born. He lived and worked on his family’s farm, with his mom Ilene, his father Roy, and his brothers Marlin, Leroy, and Erroll, and sister Charlene.
Keith graduated from Wilton High School. He also ran a local gas station and garage, during and after high school. Cars were a passion for Keith. It was there that he was gifted his beloved 1940 Chevrolet convertible. As the story goes, he loaned a local soldier, shipping off to the service, a tank of gas, to visit his sweetie. About a week later, he found the Chevy in front of the garage with a thank-you note from the soldier, in which he gave Keith the car in exchange for the gasoline, in case the soldier didn’t return to repay his debt. He never saw that soldier again and telling the story brought tears to his eyes. Keith recently finished rebuilding the Chevy and was so proud to have won several awards at local car shows with it.
Keith joined the army in 1957. He was stationed in Germany, where he met the love of his life, his wife Frederike. They were soon transferred to Fort Lewis in Washington State and moved there with their daughter Petra, where shortly after he began his post-military career. Keith was a Renaissance man; a man of all trades. He could repair appliances, do plumbing and HVAC, build homes, fix your car, your well,
your pump, your snowblower, your toaster, or anything else needing repair. He could also build anything. He renovated and built an addition to his home in Milton, WA, and later helped his daughters renovate their homes. He retired as a journeyman electrician after working many years at Clover Creek Electric in Tacoma, WA.
Keith was the biggest family man you could meet. First, he and Fredi raised their own kids, (Petra, Claudette, and Natalie) followed by their grandkids (Stephanie, Nichole, Hannah, and Shannen part-time), and then, why not, they also helped to raise 2 of their great-grandkids (Skyla and Damen). Other great-grandkids he loved so very much are Jonathan, Jaden, and Castiel. He always made sure his family was provided for.
He and Fredi moved to Harrison, Idaho when they retired, where Keith helped build a vacation home for his daughter Petra and son-in-law Craig. He fell in love with the small towns in Northern Idaho. He had so many great friends and neighbors there, who loved and supported him through his final years. He was incredibly grateful to you all.
During retirement, he continued to work on many projects to stay busy. When he wasn’t working, he was spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids taking them fishing, working on his classic cars, tinkering around in the garage, or just hosting them at his home. He never stopped moving!
He loved the simple things in life. He loved listening to oldies and country music on the deck, when the sun was shining, and just taking it all in. He loved watching sunrises over the chain lakes from his living room. He always enjoyed sharing a beer or pan of lasagna with neighbors who stopped by to visit. He loved spending time with family. With his big heart, beautiful blue eyes, and contagious smile, he would do anything for anyone. He welcomed everyone with open arms and was known as “grandpa” to all,
family or not.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Frederike, his parents, Roy and Ilene, his brothers, Marlin, LeRoy, and Erroll, and his sister Charlene.
He is survived by his 3 daughters: Petra Miller, Claudette Thor and Natalie Thor, along with his 4 grandchildren (Stephanie Todd and husband Jade, Nichole Thor, Hannah Medina, and husband Tim, and Shannen Thor,) as well as his 5 great-grandchildren, Jonathan, Skyla, Damen, Jaden and Castiel.
To say he will be deeply missed is an understatement. His impact on his family and friends is immeasurable. But Keith wouldn’t want us to be sad. Keith is smiling at us now and is saying to us all, as he would always say,
“You just have to take it one day at a time.”
We love you pop. Rest in peace.
A remembrance will be held at a later date.