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James Michael Thorne

James Michael Thorne, 60, of Crookston, died Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at home after battling cancer since 2002.

He was born in Bemidji on March 17, 1949 to Robert and Catherine (Wing) Thorne. As a youngster he moved with his family to Pequot Lakes, then to Jenkins, and a few years later to Watford City, N.D.

In 1967 they returned to Bemidji and he graduated from Bemidji High School in 1967. He attended Bemidji State College and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business.

He married Mary Joanne Erickson on July 3, 1970 at First Baptist Church in Bemidji. They moved to Little Falls in 1972, where his professional career began as the accountant-business manager for Little Falls Community Schools.

In 1976 they moved to Bemidji and he became the regional accounting coordinator for 93 public schools located throughout Northwest Minnesota. Two years later he became a staff accountant for Miller, McDonald and Erickson, Ltd, of Bemidji.

In 1979 he and his family moved to Park Rapids, where for 18 years he served as the school district's business manager. In 1998 he began employment as the business manager for Delano public schools, also later assuming the duties of building construction manager, and overseeing a large expansion of the instructional buildings on the school's campus.

From 2002 through 2004 he worked in private industry as a financial consultant for Integrity Systems of Minnesota. In 2005 he and his wife moved to Crookston where he took over as School District 593 business manager.

Because of his rapidly failing health he retired in June of 2008, ending a 36-year career in business management.

Professionally, he was a 27-year member of the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials, and had served on the State Legislative Auditor Committee, and State Legislative Transportation Committee.

He was a longtime member of Rotary International, of which he was a Paul Harris Fellow, and recipient of the Presidential Medallion. In past years he had been active in the leadership of the national and state Jaycees organizations, the Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and as a committee member for cancer fund raising for the Relay for Life. While living in Park Rapids he initiated the organization of a car club that hosted many state level functions.

As a member of Park Rapids Faith Baptist Church, and later at the Maple Plain Community Church, he served as a Sunday school teacher, youth leader and men's ministry coordinator, and chaired several committees. In Crookston the couple attended the Evangelical Covenant Church.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Mary; his daughters, Michelle (Frank) Schaap, and Melissa; a son, Shelby; two grandchidren; a brother, Glenn (Jean), of Bemidji; a brother-in-law, Rick Dally, of Anoka; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Carole Dally.

Funeral service: Saturday, June 6 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Crookston with Pastors Russ Paulson Greg Donnle, co-officiating.

Interment: Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji.