Cover photo for Shirley M Thykeson's Obituary
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1936 Shirley 2022

Shirley M Thykeson

April 8, 1936 — September 25, 2022

   Shirley M. Thykeson, 86, Portland ND, died September 25, 2022 at home surrounded by family and friends. 

   Shirley was born the daughter of Olga (Domier) and Christ Anderson on April 8, 1936 in Portland ND.  She was a baptized and confirmed member of Bruflat Lutheran Church, Portland. She attended and graduated Portland School and was a proud Pirate. Shirley married Glenn Flaten and they had six children: Tony, Kirk, Glenda, Susan, Todd and Shelly. On May 26, 1970 Shirley married the love of her life, Kenneth D. Thykeson, and with that union Trina and Jason were born.

   Shirley worked several jobs throughout her life but considered her family the most important job she ever had.  She was an excellent cook, cooking for her large family, gatherings and friends came so easy to her and had several people ask, “how can Shirley cook all this food and get it to the table HOT?”.  She loved to garden which Kenny made sure he tilled and fertilized it for her every year. She was an active member of Bang Lutheran Church and WELCA President and Treasurer and spent a lot of time cutting material and sewing blocks for her special Bang lady friends to assemble. Quilting and sewing was her passion.  In 2012, Shirley worked for months sewing 46 special quilts for her entire family as Christmas gifts.   

   Shirley’s love of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the importance of gathering for holidays inspired her “Thanks-Mas”, our Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday combined. It is held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving with gatherings so large, we outgrew Grandma T’s house, Luke’s shop and our favorite place, The KT Hall (until that was sold), now hosting the holiday at The Norseman Hall giving us lots of room for Grandma T’s favorite games, cards and poker! Of course we couldn’t forget Grandma T’s special request to have “piñatas” at the gathering with Grandma T. getting the first “wack”.  

   Shirley is survived by her children: Lona Flaten (daughter-in-law), Clifford; Kirk Flaten, Watford City; Glenda (Eddy) Haugen, Portland; Susan Webster, Grand Forks; Todd (Marilyn) Flaten, Portland; Shelly (Brian) Aune, Mayville; Trina Thykeson, Portland; Jason Thykeson, Fargo, 32 Grandchildren and 31 Great-grandchildren, sisters Opal Strand and Dorothy Amundson, sister-in-law Kathryn (Leon) Erickson, brothers-in-law Marvin Hagen and Truman Thykeson, several nieces and nephews.

   Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son Tony, sisters Arlene Tastad and Sylvia Reynolds, sisters-in-law Ruth Hagen and Janice Thykeson, brothers-in-law Robert Strand, Herald Tastad and Arlin Amundson.  

   Last but certainly not least, Shirley’s special family for the past 16 months, the loving and caring individuals from the Hospice of The Red River Valley.  Your words of comfort, care, loving jokes, coming whenever we called and to Andrea Brend, (Shirley’s 9th child at heart), thank you! You gave us 16 months of extra memories with Shirley.

Visitation:  Will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorial Service: Will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday, October 1, 2022 at the Bruflat Lutheran Church in Portland, ND.

Burial: Will be in the Bang Cemetery in rural Portland, ND.


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