Timothy “Tim” Allen Thorstenson, 54, passed on October 18, 2023.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00AM, Tuesday, October 24 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.
Tim was born on August 15, 1969, in Bismarck, the son of Ken and June (Buchwitz) Thorstenson and brother of Lee Ann (Thorstenson) and husband Paul Short.
He graduated in 1989 from Bismarck High School and spent the next two years at Bismarck State College before receiving his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from NDSU. He then entered the Coatings Polymeric Materials PhD program where Dupont Chemical company saw his brilliance and funded much of his schooling. During this time, he authored several research papers on polymer/latex coatings and presented his research at Polymer and Coating conventions in Chicago, Illinois and Toronto, Canada.
While living in Fargo, he pursued other interests, one of which was becoming an amateur storm watcher for the SKYWARN system. He spent time working with emergency management systems and volunteered in Grand Forks, North Dakota during the flood working with the Coast Guard to set up communication links.
He returned to Bismarck where his chemistry mentors Frank Koch and MaryAnn Durick welcomed him back to Bismarck State College as a chemistry professor. During this time, he helped many students, especially those in the nursing program to “pass” biochemistry classes so they could fulfill their dreams of becoming nurses. A student once wrote that Tim helped to “bring chemistry to life.” While at BSC he was honored by the students with awards for exceptional teaching. As they explained, his office was always open, and he was always willing to help. He published works on his teaching philosophy stating that “students shouldn’t memorize tables rather view concepts as something they could actually use and apply.” With these works, he stated he was just trying to answer the age-old question of “Why do we have to learn this stuff?”
His mind was always at work as he built intricate systems for water removal around his parents’ house to avoid flooding, HAM radio stations and towers, and electrical systems. He published works in Backwoods Home Magazine with articles on “Emergency and Backwood Water Treatment in the Field” and continued to work on ideas for making safe drinking water in an easy and affordable way. Concealed Carry Magazine published his article “LED Tactical Flashlights: Essential Information for Smart Shopping” along with others.
Tim was preceded in death by maternal grandparents, Fred and Justina (Kleinsasser) Buchwitz, Oscar and Katherine (Remboldt) Thorstenson; his uncle Dale Thorstenson with whom he had a special bond; his two dogs, Boone and Misty that meant so much to him, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.