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925 S 27th Street
Phone: 406-245-6427
Fax: 406-259-3558
Odelta Thomsen

Odelta "Del" Thomsen

Monday, February 24th, 1936 - Monday, December 3rd, 2018
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Odelta A. Tusler Thomsen was born February 24, 1936 in Terry Montana-the second of three children born to Sheldon (Shot) and Delpha (Dife) McAtee Tusler. She was a special birthday present for her 5-year-old brother, Jerry. She left us on December 3, 2018. Odelta or Del as she was known, grew up on the family farm and attended Terry Schools. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at THS in 1954. She entered the Navy shortly after graduation wanting to represent the family since Jerry was not able to. She completed WAVE Training and reported to active duty in Florida in the fall of 1954. Del served 2.5 years of active duty during the Korean War Era and was in the reserves for three additional years.
She married Bruce A. Jordan in 1956 and to the union three children (Vicky, Andy and Terry) were born. They later divorced. Del and children relocated to Terry where they lived until her marriage to Harold Thomsen in 1967. At that time the family relocated to Billings where she has resided since.
While in Billings Del worked for the Billings Gazette retiring many years as the Gazette’s librarian. Upon retirement she joined brother Jerry in their hay broker business on Minnesota Avenue in Billings. A business venture they shared until Jerry’s death in 2011.
Always patriotic, Del joined American Legion Yellowstone Post 4 in 1987 after being denied membership in 1962 because she was a woman and not a male veteran. Del served as historian and publicity spokeswoman for the post and was given an honorary lifetime membership in 1991. Del was also active in the American Legion at the state level and national level. She served as committee chair for Community Service and Publicity and was department (state) historian from 1992-2000. She represented Montana on the committee to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the American Legion. Del promoted growth in the American Legion always and received the gold brigade award for recruitment of over 50 members in one year. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Forty and Eight.
Del was proceeded in death by her parents and brother, husband Harold Thomsen and son Andy. She is survived by sister Nina (Helmut) Hintz, daughter Vicky (John), Son Terry and daughter-in-law Moni as well as seven grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Graveside services will held at the Prairie County Cemetery on Saturday December 8, 2018 at 11:00 am. A gathering at American Legion 32 in Terry will follow.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Prairie County Cemetery
  • Reception

    American Legion POST 32


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mary pickett parker

Posted at 08:57am
Dear Vicky, Terry and Nina and families: I was very sorry to hear of Del's passing this week. I know what a wonderful mother, grandmother and sister she was to you all and that she will be deeply missed. Everyone who ever knew Del will miss her, too! I worked in the features department at The Gazette when she was librarian. Del was in our corner literally and figuratively! I'm not surprised to see that Del was valedictorian of her graduating class, because she was so committed to the written word and newspapers. She cared as much about what we wrote as we did and she worked hard to archive it all comprehensively and accurately. We shared many ups and downs of life and the news business along with lots of tears and laughter. Most of all I remember how much Del loved her family. She spoke so tenderly of Harold and her children. She was overjoyed when grandchildren came along. Nothing made her happier than when Scottie (those blond curls!!) visited her in the newsroom and she could show him off to all of us. After Del retired, it was fun to run into her and see how happy she was in her new retired, but busy, life. My heart goes out to you. Mary Pickett Parker

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