Arnold Thoen, 87
Arnold Oscar "Bud" Thoen was born May 19, 1927 to Oscar and Annie (Anderson) Thoen on a farm near Farwell. His childhood was spent attending country school and playing with many of his cousins, who all lived nearby. He developed a passion for designing, building and tinkering with anything made of metal, especially fulfilling his love of tractors.
Eventually he spent his summers at home on the farm helping his family and neighbors and went to St. Paul, to work various jobs in the winter.
In 1955 he married Pat Brown in Minneapolis and they moved to Kalispell, Montana, where he worked in logging, at a dairy, and as partsman for Mountain Tractor Co. Their daughter, Candy, was the first baby born there in 1956. The new family of three moved back to Minnesota in April of that year, eventually settling in Minneapolis, where their son, Randy, was born in 1958.
After several jobs, including driving a garbage truck and working as a partsman, Buds cousin, Paul Anderson, helped him get a job with him at Hyser Electric Co., building packaging machinery, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
When Bud heard a repair shop was for sale in Alexandria in 1964, he sold his house in Minneapolis and took the proceeds, with a loan from his mother-in-law, and purchased the little repair shop in Alexandria, where he and his family started on the path God had for him. Bud took correspondence courses in drafting, learning how to design the machinery he had only dreamed of building up to this point.
Douglas Machine Corporation was a company God built, starting with a two-room repair shop and a first year gross income of $4,000 to a company that today employs over 700 people and has packaging machines all over the world.
Bud sold his shares in Douglas Machine and took over Palmer Staple Co., which was eventually sold to Gardner Bender, but still has headquarters in Alexandria. Also, as part of his exit from Douglas Machine, he became owner of West Central Bearing, which he later sold.
Bud enjoyed being a part of the Alexandria Rotary Club and was honored to be chosen as one of their presidents, during which time he represented the local club at their international meeting in Germany. He also had the privilege of serving on boards representing the Alexandria Technical College, First State Bank of Alexandria, Alexandria Extrusion Co., TWF Industries and Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission.
God abundantly blessed Bud in his business efforts, but Buds real passion was for missions and the role it played in the local church. He served as a board member, Sunday school teacher, Royal Ranger commander, missions director, and various other positions at Living Waters Church in Alexandria, as well as the Lake Geneva Bible Camp Missions Food Fair director and a member of the Healthcare Ministries Department and National Missions Board of the Assemblies of God.
Bud and Pat built a house in Florida in 1995 and were seasonal residents of Venice where bud also served as missions director at New Life Church.
Bud suffered a stroke in 2010, after which he moved to Florida as a permanent resident. He has suffered from dementia since that time until his homegoing on July 6, 2014 at Englewood Health and Rehabilitation Center in Englewood, Florida.
Bud is survived by his wife, Pat, of Englewood; two children, Candy (Paul) Kush of Englewood, and Randy (Melody) Thoen of Alexandria; 10 grandchildren, Katrina Rollins, Kristi (Scott) Brown, Kari (Mark) Voit, Kayla (Lee) Johnson, Kelsea (John) Tilton, Stephanie Thoen, Kelly Kush, Kassandra Kush, Shanna Thoen and Kory Kush; seven great-grandchildren, Katey Voit, Vincent Rollins, Seth Brown, Josh Brown, Luke Voit, Nicholas Tilton and Ella Johnson; sister, Marian (Oscar) Engstrom; brother, Johnny (Juanita) Thoen; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Annie Thoen; many aunts, uncles and cousins.