Per Ornulf Thorsen of Evanston, IL, passed away peacefully in December 2020. He was preceded in death by his father, Sverre Thorsen, and mother, Edle (Ella) Lordahl Thorsen. He is survived and fiercely loved by his wife of 35 years, Melanie Therese Klimek Thorsen; six children, Kristine Alyce Klaassen (Frans Klaassen} Thorsen, of Toronto, Canada, Lisa Ellen Thorsen, of Rykkinn, Norway, Michelle Eva Thorsen (Morten Kristiansen), of Rykkinn, Norway, Deneen Sonja Thorsen of Evanston, IL, Karin Terese Thorsen of Evanston, IL, and Johannes Christian Thorsen, of Denver, CO, and his 10 grandchildren: Vendela, Andrine and Stian; Edle Sophie, Synniva, Ariane, and Kyrre; Lucas and William; and ‘baby’ Thorsen, ETA January 2021 (Johannes and Evelyn).
Per was born in Stabekk, Norway, and completed business school in Norway and lifelong education in the U.S.A. He journeyed the Atlantic with Olsen and Ugelstad cargo shipping firm which took him to Chicago to play soccer. He eventually joined Scandinavian Design furniture company and became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of over 100 locations across the U.S.A. After this success he used his entrepreneurial savvy and grew the Midwest Division for Dania Furniture for many years.
Per was an avid athlete and sport fanatic. He played hockey for the Norwegian junior team, bandy for Division 1 team, soccer for Division II, and captained all teams as the born charismatic leader that he was. In Chicago, he played for numerous soccer teams and then moved on to golf, playing at a handicap of 8 at Evanston Golf Club, which he called his sports home. He encouraged his children to be active and familiar with many sports and was a devoted, ever-present fan of their matches. Per and Melanie would frequently take many long walks, something he did until shortly before his passing. He enjoyed being outdoors, as the Norwegian Viking he was, and in his spare time reigned as master of the gardens, finding seasonal flowers and greenery in the morning sun for his beloved Melanie.
A Memorial Service will be held privately and his final resting place will be in Norway, his homeland. Very fitting for this Viking Gentleman.
Funeral info: 847.673.6111.