Frances “Mignon” (Smith) Thorson, age 99, of Sundance, Wyoming, passed from this earth on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at Crook County Memorial Hospital in Sundance, Wyoming.
Mignon was the fourth child of 13, born June 12, 1913, in Antioch, Ohio to Evert E. and Josie Baker Smith. When she was a young child the family moved west from Ohio to Wyoming. In 1918 her mother passed away, Evert continued their journey to Manville with their six children to work in the oilfield with the older kids helping to raise the younger ones. They lived in various places and finally landed in the Bear Lodge where Evert built a home and married Edna (Johnson) Smith. Edna brought children of her own to the family, and three additional children made the family complete.
Mignon had an illustrious education between public, boarding and home school, graduating from Gillette. She lived with the Underwood family and worked in Gillette. During this time she sang in various church choirs. She often spoke of enjoying going from church to church singing for their services.
Her older sister Elsie introduced her to a handsome young marine, Adolph Thorson. They courted for a couple years then Adolph made her his bride on June 5, 1935. Adolph and Mignon traveled the countryside living in various oilfields in the early days of their marriage.
Their first child Gilbert (Gib) was born on January 1, 1938, in Newcastle. During WW II Adolph felt the need to do his duty for his country and attempted to rejoin the Marine Corps, but was ineligible due to age. However, they moved to California where Adolph worked in the shipyards and Mignon worked as a plane spotter for Civil Defense and in the canneries to be a part of the war. Health issues affecting Mignon and the call of the oilfields precipitated their return to Osage. They welcomed daughter Kristine (Kris) to their family on August 30, 1943, in Casper. The family followed the oil boom for several more years until Mignon set her foot down and said “no more.” They settled in Osage where they built a home in the trees and raised their family.
Mignon was a flamboyant member of the community and enjoyed being a 4H leader, producing community plays and melodramas, and several community service activities. She was an excellent cook and renowned hostess making everyone feel welcome at any event in which she was involved. Mignon was a member of the Upton Chapter of the Eastern Star organization for 63 years having joined June 8, 1949. She was actively involved and was Worthy Matron in 1964 and 1965. Mignon was politically active and instrumental in the environmental reclamation of Wyoming’s bentonite fields. She also had an impact in the Wyoming Green Thumb Program, a senior citizen work program, as coordinator for Northeastern Wyoming. She was also a fee collector for Keyhole State Park for several years.
When Mignon was widowed in 1972, she moved from Osage to settle in the Sundance area. She enjoyed many adventures with her grandchildren, world traveling and antiquing. The Keyhole Boat and Ski Club at Keyhole State Park was a favorite home away from home for Mignon and her family.
In the 1980s she spent time traveling to her second home in New Mexico enjoying the history and the atmosphere of the Land Of Enchantment. During this time she married her second husband Marion (Ick) McIntyre at their future home in Story. In 1986, she was once again widowed when Ick died after a battle with cancer. She returned to Sundance to be closer to her family. Mignon lived out the rest of her days in Sundance to be near her brothers and sisters. She moved into Sundance Assisted Living when it became too difficult for her to drive and travel and in June 2012 after a struggle with pneumonia she moved to Crook County Memorial Nursing Home where she was residing when she passed.
She is survived by her daughter, Kristine Thorson Darlington; 7 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; brother-in-law, Jack Spencer; sister-in-law, Ruth Smith; and a plethora nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband Adolph of 37 years; husband Ick of 15 months; son Gib; siblings, Chester, Justine, Elsie, Claralee, Harold (Smitty), Roberta (Bobbi), Phyllis, Richard (Dick), Francis, Ernest, Anna and Vada.
She was known as Mignon, Mims, Granny Good Witch and most recently Grandma Apple. She lived several lifetimes in a colorful and vibrant 99 years. She will be missed greatly by her many family members and all the people whose lives she touched.
Mignon’s most recent cause was heart disease and a memorial has been established to benefit research towards heart related diseases.
Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m., Thursday, January 31, 2013, at the Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel, Sundance. Funeral Services will be at 10 a.m., Friday, February 1, 2013, at Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel. Burial will be at Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, South Dakota, at 2 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2013.
Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapels, Sundance, Wyoming. Online condolences may be sent to www.fidler-isburgfuneralchapels.com.