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Bruce Thornby

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April 4, 1961-Jan. 28, 2009

Bruce C. Thornby, 47, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, died Wednesday, January 28, 2009, at Innovis Health in Fargo. He died of a massive heart attack after a valiant fight to live.

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Bruce was born to Marvin and Janet (Waterman) Thornby on April 4, 1961 in Minot, N.D. Bruce would later attend Audubon Grade School, and Minot High School. He was certified in heating and cooling (HVAC) at North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton. Bruce married Myra Gaetz on March 25, 1985 in Detroit Lakes.

Originally, Bruce started out painting homes around the Detroit Lakes area with his good friend, Mark Keepers. Later, Bruce would find that Audubon Engineering had just built a plant in Audubon, and was hiring new workers. His family suggested he find out what that was all about. Bruce was hired and started working in the plant, eventually going on the engineering "team." Later, the firm built more facilities and renamed them, "TEAM Industries." The firm built more facilities, and Bruce advanced to Quality Assurance and ISO at Audubon and Detroit Lakes TEAM plants.

For many years, Bruce fished the lakes around Detroit Lakes. It could be said, "The walleyes in Minnesota are breathing a lot easier. Thornby is no longer chasing them." He didn't get to play golf with Tiger Woods, but if he had, Bruce would show Tiger his slow, determined back swing and give him a run for his money. His best attribute was that he did not judge people. He often said, "Mom, I am not petty."

He assigned his driver's license so he could be a donor. It can be said: "That was the last kind act for mankind by a kind man." It was just like Bruce that he would do as expected to do, so others would benefit.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Myra (Gaetz) Thornby; three children, Daniel, Jamie and Keith Thornby, all of Detroit Lakes; his father, Marvin R. and stepmother Janet Thornby of Garrison, N.D.; his mother, Janet Waterman Gallagher and stepfather, Howard P. Gallagher of Moorhead; brother, Craig (Judy) Thornby of Devils Lake, N.D., Keith A. Thornby and his fiancé, Tracey Mosser, of Minot; one granddaughter, one niece and one nephew.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, at the West-Kjos Funeral Home, 900 Summit Avenue, Detroit Lakes. The prayer service will be at 7:30 p.m., by the Rev. Mark Kuether.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, with Rev. Kuether officiating.

West-Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes has been entrusted with the arrangements. Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the funeral home's online messages of sympathy section at www.westkjos.com.

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