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American Patriotic 10


Dr. John Richard Thorderson

December 26, 1937 ~ October 2, 2018 (age 80)

Dr. John Richard Thorderson, 80, passed away Tuesday evening, October 2, 2018, after a lengthy illness at his home in Tupelo, MIssissippi.  He was born in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, on December 26, 1937 to Parley Eugene and Winona Seely Thorderson. He was raised in Kaysville where he graduated from Davis High School in 1956.   He attended the University of Utah with a full scholarship from the Navy ROTC.  He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and received his commission as an Ensign on June 6, 1960. The following day he married Carol King and they have spent 58 years together. In 1979 he retired from the United States Naval Reserve as a Commander.

While teaching high school in Clearfield, he continued his education receiving his Master’s Degree from the University of Utah and his Doctorate of Education Degree from Illinois State University, where he worked as the Assistant Director of Housing and Food Services.  From 1974 until 1998 he worked as the Dean of Admissions and Associate Provost of Faculty Relations at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  During that time he also served as a member of the Livonia Public School’s Board of Education for 10 years, 5 of which he served as the President.

Richard was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his whole life. He held many leadership positions including: Bishop of the local congregations in Livonia, MI and later in Tupelo MS, and President of the Westland Michigan Stake for 10 years where he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver Award from the Detroit Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.   With his wife, he served as President of the Salt Lake City Utah Mission from 1998 to 2001, and most recently as the President of the Memphis Tennessee Temple from 2004 to 2007.

He is survived by his wife, Carol King Thorderson, one daughter and five sons; Julie Wise (Scot) of Pleasant Grove; John Eric Thorderson (Loree) of Arizona; Dr. Parley Kurt Thorderson (Tera) of Kalispell, Montana; James Drew Thorderson (Susan) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Dr. Nels Thorderson (Gina) of Tupelo, Mississippi; and Jedd Alan Thorderson ( Julie) of Tupelo; his mother Winona Seely Thorderson of Kaysville; 20 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and 5 siblings; Nedra Overstreet (LeRoy) of American Fork; Sheila Steiner (DeVon) of Bountiful; Connie Lowder (Grant) of Kaysville; Zachary Thorderson (Donna) of Layton; and Kim Thorderson (Claudia) of Farmington.  He was preceded in death by his father, Parley Thorderson.

Funeral services were held in Tupelo on October 11, 2018.        

Graveside services will be held Friday, October 19, 2018 at 12 p.m. at the Kaysville City Cemetery, 500 E. Crestwood Road, Kaysville, Utah.  Following the service will be a gathering for family and friends at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 555 North 100 East, Kaysville.

Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Road.           

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in honor of Dr. Thorderson to LDS Philanthropies, 1450 N. University Ave. Provo, UT 84604, or online at        

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