Wally Thomsen 1946 – 2020

PIERRE, SD – Wally Thomsen, 73, of Pierre, SD passed away March 5, 2020, at his home following a battle with metastasized pancreatic cancer.

Wallace Carl Thomsen was born on November 17, 1946 to Elmer C. (Tommy) and Maxine J.(Mickey) Thomsen in Ames, IA, where his father was pursuing a degree in horticulture at Iowa State University. The family moved to Rosebud, OR and Helena, MT before moving to Pierre in 1951 to own and operate Pierre Flower Shop & Greenhouses.

Wally graduated from Riggs High School in 1964. He attended South Dakota State University for one year. He then transferred to Michigan State University to obtain a degree in horticulture with a minor in business, which he received in 1968. It was there that he met his future wife, Nancy, whom he married following graduation. They lived in Birmingham, MI for one year while Wally managed a flower shop before entering the Army in 1969. He served until 1972. After a brief time in Wausau, WI, Wally and family returned to Pierre in January, 1973 to work with his parents in the flower shop. After the floods of 1951 and 2011 came the devastating fire of May 1, 2015. Pierre Flower Shop burned to the ground and it was time to sell East Pierre Garden Center and retire from full-time employment. Wally did, however, help part-time with services at Isburg Funeral Home, a way in which he could continue to support grieving individuals in this community.

Wally loved Pierre and always felt a commitment to be involved and to give back to the community with his time and leadership. He served eleven years on the Pierre City Commission; was general chairman of the inaugural celebrations for Governor Mickelson in 1991 and Governor Janklow in 1995; served on the Board of Deacons of Community Bible Church; was a member of The Gideons; was president of the board of directors of Countryside Hospice; was an original board member for The Right Turn; served on the steering committee of the Church of Hope at the South Dakota Women’s Prison; served multiple terms on the board of directors of the South Dakota Retailers Association; was an active member of the Pierre-Ft. Pierre Rotary Club; was honorary chairman of the Capital Area Counseling Services Capital Campaign; held all offices and was a trustee of the Pierre Elks Lodge and was a member of the Pierre Masonic Lodge. Wally was an active member of the South Dakota Florist’s Association and was honored to be inducted into the South Dakota Florists Association Hall of Fame in 2014. He supported the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce and received both the Distinguished Service Award and the Pierre Pride Award.

Wally loved to hunt and fish, play bridge, read, travel, spend time with family and friends, and, of course, garden. His Thursday morning men’s Bible study was a very special part of his spiritual life.

Wally was preceded in death by his father Tommy and his older brother Alan. He is survived by his mother Mickey, wife Nancy, daughter Jeanne (Randy) Bergerson, son Christopher (Leigh) Thomsen, grandchildren Michael Bergerson, Caden Thomsen, Adeline Thomsen, Trig Thomsen and Tate Thomsen, step-grandchildren Daniel (Jenn)Bergerson and Kirsten (Brett) Spark, step-great grandchildren Ryan Bergerson and Jackson Spark, nephew Tom Thomsen, niece Kim Thomsen, sister-in-law Linda Thomsen King and other extended family members.