Morris Thingstad

morris thingstad

Morris was born on September 12, 1923, the son of Martin and Minnie (Sorum) Thingstad in Hillsboro, ND. He grew up in this area and attended Hillsboro School. During his high school years, Morrie formed the Teddy Page Dance Band, traveling the area performing until he entered the service. He opened for the Glen Miller Band while still in high school. After high school graduation he proudly served his country in the United States Navy during WWII on the USS Enterprise. Following his discharge he returned to North Dakota and attended North Dakota State University, then known as the Ag College. Morrie was united in marriage to Reva Hanson on March 17, 1949 in Moorhead, MN. After graduation from NDSU they made their home in Cando, ND where Morrie taught band and choir. They moved to West Fargo, ND where Morrie continued teaching band, choir, and math. He ended his teaching career in Glyndon, and began Morrie Thingstad Insurance Agency. Thorough the years, Morrie’s bands and choirs were recognized for showmanship, achievements and overall excellence. He was a long time musical leader for many community organizations including the Elks, the Eagles, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corp. In addition to his Navy service, Morrie was Chief Warrant Officer for the 188th Army Band in Fargo. He had a love of flying and served as president of North Dakota Pilots Association. Morrie will be remembered by his many past students for the impact that he made on their lives by his teaching and by his time spent at Moorhead State University in the counseling center with Project Test.

Morrie is survived by his children, Mary (James) Nigg of Howard Lake, MN; Michael (Diana) Thingstad of Velva, ND; Nancy Meronuck of Prescott, AZ; Debra (Steven) Boe of Burnsville, MN; Douglas (Deb) Thingstad of Jamestown, ND; and Kathleen (Gregory) Grant of West Fargo, ND; his 15 grandchildren – Kelley Grant, Ryan Grant, Aleah (Ross) Rosaaen, Betsy (Gabe) Bladow, Scott Thingstad, Jennifer (Jeremy Sayther) Boe, Kathryn Boe, Elizabeth Boe, Andrea (Cayson Morrison)Meronuck, Marisa Gonzalez, Chelsea (Nate) Benke, Lindsey Hauser, Courtney Thingstad, Brittney Thingstad, and Michael Thingstad; and seven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Reva in 1996.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Ava Maria Care Center in Jamestown for the wonderful care they provided during Morrie’s last months. He passed away on July 9, 2014 surrounded by his family.

Honorary Pallbearer will be – Bob Miller, Doug Anderson, Forest Johnson, and Vern Skogen. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Hillsboro.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Your dad use to say he liked me because I
    Asked a lot of questions, but found me annoying for the same reason! 🙂
    Cindy Gaughan

  2. Moorhead MN
    Morrie was my band teacher for many years at Glyndon (Class of 1974). He encourage me to take up the tenor saxophone even though it was bigger than I was in 5th grade. I played all through my high school years. He was truly a great man an a great teacher. He will be missed.

  3. Morris was a very special teacher admired by many. As his student, I was inspired daily by his caring nature and genuine concern for others. He is fondly remembered for all those conversations we shared about future endeavors.

  4. Centerville MN
    Mike, Mary, Doug, Deb, Nancy and Kathy,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your dad. I had the pleasure of sharing many meals with he and your Mom (and Mike) while going to Moorhead State. Reva was such a great cook and Morrie always kept the conversation lively……….always the teacher with lots of advice. Your house was my “home away from home”, thanks to your wonderful parents. I have many great memories of them. May they rest in peace.

    George Burr

  5. Delavan WiHe was tough and strict and he made us better than we were. Always respected him and have appreciated what he taught me more and more as years have gone by. A good man who will be missed by so many

  6. Jamestown North Dakota
    So very sorry to hear of Morris’ passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family at this time.

  7. White Bear Lake MN
    I was so fortunate to have Mr. Thingstad as my band teacher from 5th grade through my Junior year. If he had taught in Glyndon one more year, I know I wouldn’t have quit band in my Senior year! He was so dedicated and kind, and he genuinely cared. My sympathies to his family and his many students.

  8. Morris was a neighbor and a friend. It is always hard to see someone you know pass from this life into eternity, our hope is always to see them again. His life is now going so we turn our thoughts and prayers to those who are left behind. I have many fond memories of the family and the time that I spent with each one. One bible verse that you may find for comfort is 1John 5:13.

  9. St. Louis MOTo the Thingstad family (especially my dear long lost friend Mary), you guys were my second family in West Fargo. I don’t think I ever visited your house without a smart ### comment coming from Morris. I always felt at home at your house. Even after my family moved to Missouri and I would come back to visit my Grandparents, your home still felt like mine. I thank you for all the wonderful memories. And of course, all the times Mary and I got into trouble or THOUGHT we got by with something and really didn’t! My thoughts and prayers are with you guys. And God Bless Reva as she has been at rest until now. The Band has come to heaven and will continue to play. Play on Morris and don’t fly too low!

  10. Apple Valley MN
    My sympathies to you,Deb, and your family. It was wonderful to read about your dad and his musical talent. What a wonderful legacy!
    Blessings, Bonnie

  11. Minneapolis mnMorrie was my Bank and cornet instructor from 3rd grade until I graduated. He visited my Mom until her death at the age of 92. I loved this wonderful instructor and talked to him on the phone for years. He was always optimistic and gave me confidence that I never had before. My prayers are for the family and all of us that he diligently taught to love music. I shall miss this wonderful man and I know I’m not alone among all of his students! God Speed Morris and please say Hi to my Mom in heaven where I am sure you both are.

  12. Fargo NdThru the years of working in the insurance industry, I enjoyed visiting with Morrie. Heartfelt condolences to you all.

  13. Fargo I met Morrie about twentyfive years ago through our aviation avocation and we spent a lot of time “hangar flying” and promoting General Aviation in our region.
    Morrie took great pride in his family, students, friends, military service, and community.
    I think of him when I use the tool to remove ice from my hangar door that he passed on to me.
    Thanks, Morrie.

  14. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Deb, and your family. Having recently lost my Dad, my heart goes out to you during this sad time. Morrie sounds like quite the man, and I am sure that you have some very fond memories. Hold on to them.

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