Thor J. Thorson was born on April 11, 1937 in Viroqua to LeMont and Alice (Hofslien) Thorson. He graduated from Viroqua High School in 1955, the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and received a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. He worked as a child welfare worker in Vernon and Lincoln County. From 1968 until 1972 he was a school social worker with the Wausau Area School System. In 1972 he formed a partnership with Richard Arneson and they opened the funeral home in Viroqua in January, 1973. In 1975 after completing Mortuary School at Worsham School of Mortuary Science and his apprenticeship he purchased Arneson’s share and it became Thorson Funeral Home. Thor served in the U.S. Navy as a yeoman on Board the Staff of Commander Battleship Two on board the battleship, USS WISCONSIN (BB-64) and retired from the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel after 40 total years of service with the Navy and Army.
Joseph Luke Kleiber was born on August 12, 1994 in Viroqua to Joseph B. and Amy (Forde) Kleiber. He attended Viroqua High School and graduated in 2012. In 2014 he married Jena Welsh and together they have a son and a daughter. In 2012 he attended Southwest Technical College and completed FireFighter I & II and EMT-B. He is member of the Southwest Prairie Lutheran Church, He is also a active member of the Viroqua Lions and the Gunderson Health System Patient and Family Advisory Council.Luke is also a Certified Funeral Celebrant to better serve families.
Jena Kleiber was born on January 6th, 1989. She grew up in the Gays Mills and Readstown area. She attended Kickapoo High School and graduated in 2007. In 2008 she got her CNA Certification from WTC- Viroqua and worked as a CNA for 6 years at Vernon Manor. In 2014 she married Joseph Luke Kleiber and together they have two children. She started working for Thorson Funeral Home in 2017. She currently manages the office and our lunch room. She also assists in the pre-arrangements program.
Valdo "Pete" Gilman was born on September 15, 1936 on the home farm in rural LaFarge. He attended country school and graduated from LaFarge High School in 1954. In 1960 he married Shirley Drake and they have three children, one girl and two boys. Pete worked in the grocery business until retiring in 1998. He has worked at Thorson Funeral Home from 1999 to present time. Pete is not a licensed funeral director but assists in many aspects of the funeral business and is a valuable associate to the the firm.
Non-Licensed Associate/Lunch Room Staff
Sandy has lived in the Viroqua area for almost 40 years. She was the Business Manager for Viroqua Area Schools for 28 years, retiring in 2011. She is married to Doug Malliet and has 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren. She sings and plays fiddle in the DisChords – a bluegrass gospel band.
Doug is originally from Martin County, Minnesota but has lived in the Viroqua area for the last 10 years. He is a retired school Business Manager and worked at Kickapoo Area Schools until 2017. He is married to Sandy Malliet and has 2 sons and several grandchildren. He enjoys playing music and traveling with the DisChords.