Dwight "Pete" M. Thrall

Dwight ‘Pete’ Marlow Thrall, age 86, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2019 in Fargo, N.D. surrounded by loving family and friends. His love for them and his zest for life was an inspiration to everyone who met him. Pete was born in East Grand Forks on June 7, 1933 to Arnold and Minnie (Purpur) Thrall. The family moved to Placerville, CA, during World War II and returned to Grand Forks, where Pete attended Central High School. He served active duty in the Air Force from 1952-1956, stationed in Anchorage, AK, and attended the University of North Dakota, graduating in 1960. Pete had a distinguished career with Border States Electric -- he was hired by co-founder Jim Stolee in 1957, was the first full-time outside salesman of the company, served as President of the Board, and retired as Vice President of Marketing for the company in 1985. His Border States family continued to play a big part in Pete’s life. The company and its people were an ongoing source of pride. Pete was a lifelong Sioux fan and a fixture in the stands during hockey and football seasons. He traveled around the country to watch his beloved hockey team. He was a proud member of Kiwanis and enjoyed his regular get-togethers with the “Nickel Club.” Pete felt blessed to have had two wonderful marriages in his life. He met Dolly when they were in high school and they enjoyed 31 amazing years together. Later, he met Phyllis through Beginning Experience support group and shared a beautiful 26-year marriage. He opened his arms to her large close-knit family. Pete is survived by his children, Mark (Lori) Thrall, Jeff Thrall (Tammie Clemens), Patty Harris Thrall, Susie (Jeff) Rodin, Scott Robert (Lori) Hamilton, Keith Andrew (Laura Kahn) Hamilton, Laura Lee (Michael) Hamilton, Sarah Jo (Aaron Solem) Hamilton; fifteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; brother Robert ‘Buck’ Thrall and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. He is preceded in death by his parents Arnold and Minnie; his first wife, Dolly; his second wife, Phyllis; his brother, Glen; and his sister Marilyn Kavadas. We would like to thank the palliative care team of Sanford Hospital and the staff of Edgewood Vista team for their dedicated care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Pete Thrall to Special Olympics North Dakota.

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  1. Please know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Peace be with you.

  2. Pete was a very special person as I grew up next door and babysat for his kids. I am keeping the family in my thoughts and prayers. It’s hard to say farewell to our parents. Hugs Mark, Jeff and Susie and families.

  3. Our sympathy to Pete’s family. He was a kind and friendly man to us and an excellent stepfather to my children. He will be missed.

    Lee & Cindy Hamilton

  4. Pete was married to Phyllis Vasquez who was a classmate of mine. I nicer man I’ve never met. He was always smiling and interested in the other person. He will surely be missed.

    Jim Ebsen

  5. Susie and family,
    You have all been in my thoughts and prayers. Pete had an awesome personality! Loved spending time visiting with Pete. I will always remember going to the UND hockey games, courtesy of Pete, and hearing him yelling at the refs. Susie, do you remember the lady near us that would always cover her ears? Great memories. I am so glad that the Thralls moved to Grand Forks and I met my life long friend!
    Pete will be missed by many.
    Linda Helmeke Sword

  6. My deepest sympathies to Pete’s family.

    Pete was a remarkable man, as he excelled in whatever he was engaged –work and community service. He was a model Kiwanian and dedicated himself to helping others all the time. He was also very active in Special Olympics. Pete was a source of inspiration to anybody he got to know. He was kind, gentle and super friendly and treated everyone with respect and kindness.

    Pete was one of the people that I always remember for bringing the best out of everyone.

    Mort Mazaheri, NDSU Professor Emeritus, Former Kiwanis Lt. Governor

  7. Our thoughts are with you —May you find God’s peace and comfort thru these sad days

  8. How do you say goodbye to a cousin who became a lifelong friend and buddy…someone you missed the minute he walked away from you. So from the three Graves girls, it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!

    Love and condolences from all of us to all that will miss him.

    Marlys (Graves) Pfenning
    Susan (Graves) Bourgois
    Ardie (Graves) Holz

  9. Our sympathies to Pete’s family. While Ilse and I did not really know Pete I do know that my Mother, Doris Gardner née Hamilton loved getting together with Pete and Phyllis and always related how much they laughed during her visits. I remember Pete telling me this as well after my Mother passed. Perhaps the three of them are together once more a chuckling at all of our follies.

    Huge Hugs from Ilse and Bill Gardner

  10. To the family of Pete — Your father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother was one of the neatest people that I have met! Pete organized our Olympic Town events for Special Olympics for sure since 1998 when I first met him. His kindness was warming, his smile put you in a good mood and his laughter made you laugh. I meet hundreds of people on an annual basis, but when I saw his picture I instantly and fondly remember these things about him that started more than 20 years ago!. He not only made a positive impact on my life (personally and professionally) but he did so as well to our Special Olympics family of volunteers, athletes and the Kiwanis. He did good things for a lot of people – his heart was in the right spot. He will be missed by many and my sincere condolences to all of you and hope the sadness from your loss will soon be filled with the memories of happiness and the times you had together. God Bless

  11. So very sorry to hear about Pete. He was always such a nice and kind man. Pete and Dolly gave me a igloo cooler/lunch box and I carried it to work for over 30 years. He was always happy and so full of life. Mark, Jeff and Susie I am so sorry for your loss.

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