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Richard M. Thor

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Richard M. Thor Obituary
Richard M. Thor
March 3, 1931 - December 18, 2011

Richard Thor, more commonly known as Dick, was born in Seattle, WA on March 3, 1931 to parents Russ and Hazel Thor. While attending the University of Washington, he joined the Air Force as a reservist. In February 1951 he was called to active duty, and served three years in France with an engineering squadron. After finishing his tour of duty, he returned to the University of Washington and took a part time job as a House Parent at a childrens counseling center. It was then he decided to devote his life to the service of others. He completed his Degree in Economics in 1954, and took a job as a Stock Broker/Trader. Two years later, he decided that was not the life for him and moved to Southern California and attended Graduate school at USC, earning his Masters Degree in Social Work in 1958. During which time, he met his wife Ann, marrying in 1957. Their three boys soon followed Danny, Mike, and Tom. For ten years he built a career in social work, including jobs as a parole officer in the California Youth Authority, and Assistant to the Dean in the Graduate School of Social Work at USC. When his father Russ fell ill, and his Volkswagen dealership was in peril, Dick stepped in to save the business. Under his leadership the business was successful, and he went on to become President of the VW Dealer Association. After 22 years he sold the franchise and returned to social work, working 12 years at the Los Angeles Free Clinic, consulting for the SRO Housing Agency, and even teaching part time at both UCLA and Cal State Long Beach. Dick also sat on the board of numerous charitable foundations, including, Goodwill Industries, SRO Housing Agency, Lamp Community, and the Salvation Army. Dick was recently stricken with cancer, and passed peacefully while he slept on December 18, 2011, he is survived by his wife, Ann of 54 amazing years, still as much in love as the day they married. To continue his work are grandchildren, Tracy and Tom; and great grandchildren, Mikey and Jeannine. A Memorial will be held on January 14, 2012, at St. Peters by the Sea Presbyterian Church, 6410 Palos Verdes Dr. South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275. Service begins at 1:30pm. Please direct donations to TrinityCare Hospice at Little Company of Mary Hospital.
Published in Daily Breeze from Jan. 11 to Jan. 13, 2012
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