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Richard "Dick" Lawrence Thorn
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Richard "Dick" Lawrence Thorn, 83, of Lake Summerset, Ill., passed away Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, at Woods Crossing at Woods Point in Brodhead, Wis., after a courageous battle with cancer. Born July 14, 1931, in Rockford, Ill., he was the son of Roger and Frances (Sanders) Sawyer of Rockford. Richard and Virginia Lee Frink were married June 7, 1951, at Van Brocklin United Methodist Church in rural Stephenson County. Mr. Thorn was a 1949 graduate of Orangeville High School, and served with honor in the U.S. Navy from 1950 to 1954 during the Korean War. He was a Sonarman on two minesweepers, the last of which, an experimental ship. When he left the Navy, he was the leading Sonarman in the Atlantic Fleet. The couple returned to Illinois where he worked as a contract administrator for Micro Switch in Freeport for 17 years. He then worked at Hamilton Sundstrand in the Aerospace division in Rockford for 20 years during which time he traveled worldwide visiting world airlines. He served as president of the Dakota Community School District Board of Education in the early 1970s; he was a founder of Indian Grove Country Church, Rock City, Ill., enjoyed playing all sports in his youth, was an avid golfer, Chicago Bears fan, and while in retirement was a golf course ranger at several courses in the area. Mr. Thorn enjoyed wildlife, and caring for his and his neighbors' properties at Lake Summerset. Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Virginia Thorn, of Lake Summerset; one son, Jeffrey Lawrence (Deirdre) Thorn of East Moline, Ill.; one daughter, Diana L. (Thorn) Roemer, of Lake Summerset; four grandchildren, Wesley William Roemer, Jared Lawrence Thorn, Ashley May Thorn and Jonathon Lee Roemer; one brother, Dennis Guy (Judi) Thorn of Rockford; one sister, Carol F. Walsh of Pasadena, Texas; and many cousins, nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and his stepfather, Guy Thorn, formerly of Pearl City, Ill.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, at Oakland Cemetery and Mausoleum, 2619 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be sent to Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a project of Christian Relief Services, P.O. Box 52144, Phoenix AZ 85072-9612, or Northwest Illinois Audubon Society, P.O. Box 771, Freeport IL 61032.