Robert Harold Thornburg
1933 - 2016
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Robert Harold Thornburg

January 22, 1933 - June 6, 2016

Dallas - Robert Harold Thornburg, age 83, of Dallas Oregon, died peacefully on June 6, 2016 in Salem, Oregon surrounded by his family. Born on January 22, 1933 in Ipswich, South Dakota, he was the son of the late Harold and Ruby (Benson) Thornburg.

Bob grew up in Aberdeen, South Dakota and graduated from Central High School in 1950. He was drafted into the United States Army and served honorably in Germany during the Korean Conflict. Following his military service, Bob attended Northern State Teacher's College and then moved to Hillsboro, Oregon where he married his wife, Sarah. They moved to Salem, Oregon where he worked as a Farmers Insurance Agent for nine years. He also served as a volunteer Fireman for Marion County Fire District. Subsequently, Bob worked for 39 years in the wood products industry as a successful and well respected Salesman for Salem Equipment, Inc. Salesmanship was his passion and during those years he traveled the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Canada and Europe.

He retired in 2008 and moved to Dallas, Oregon. Bob was a loving, kind husband and father who was very spiritual and put the needs of others first. Throughout his life Bob loved outdoor recreation, ocean fishing, waterskiing, golf and photography. Also, he was fascinated with computers, from the time they were available, and taught himself many new programs over the years. He was a patient learner; he kept up-to-date with the latest technology and loved electronic gadgets. Bob volunteered in his community where he and his wife retired. He was loved and respected by those who knew him and he will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sarah Thornburg; along with his son, Tom Thornburg and daughter, Pam Zullo; four grandchildren, Kristin (Rian) Berg, Megan (Mike) Ward, Jessica (David) Davis and Corbin Thornburg; two great-grandchildren, Braden and Kylie; seven siblings, Jeanne (Ralph) Huddleston, Esther (Herman) Lier, Marion Oslund, John Thornburg, James Thornburg, Sharon (Jerry) Kilber and David (Katie) Thornburg. He is preceded in death by his son, Joel Thornburg; brother, Donald Thornburg; and sister, Damaris Thornburg.

A family service will be held at a later date. We would like to pay tribute to the caring staff of Salem Hospital 6th Floor. They were there for Bob and his family. Contributions may be made in memory of Bob to Oregon Veterans' Home Lebanon or a charity of choice.

Arrangements entrusted to Howell, Edwards, Doerksen Funeral Home.




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Published in The Statesman Journal on Jun. 12, 2016.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Howell, Edwards, Doerksen with Rigdon-Ransom
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6 entries
June 16, 2016
I wasn't blessed to have met Bob. However, I can tell he was a wonderful person by the daughther he raised. I can tell he was kind, patient, loving, non-judgemental and caring. He imparted all of those qualities on his daughter, Pam. She always speaks lovingly of her parents and one can tell that she is the person she's become today because of the foundation they laid. Bob will be missed by all that knew and loved him and even by those that didn't.
Alice Pepitone
June 15, 2016
I was fortunate to have been able to partner with Bob over many years in the sawmill business, travelling together throughout the West. Bob taught me a tremendous amount about the sawmill equipment business and shared his knowledge without hesitation. Bob knew everybody from the man on the sawmill floor to the man with the checkbook and he was well liked and respected by all.
My years spent with Bob were some of the most enjoyable of my memory as he knew his business forwards and backwards and was a generous, sharing teacher.

To his family, you should know that Bob will be remembered fondly by many and he spread joy wherever he went and I personally feel very fortunate to have been able to consider him my friend.
Kerry Wilson
June 14, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. I was in the same locker room for several years with Bob at the Dallas Aquatic Center. It was noticed by many that he no longer came . He always said hello to us and was a friendly guy. Take care,
Gary Glaze
Dallas, Oregon
June 12, 2016
Pamela Zullo
June 12, 2016
I miss you dearly Dad.
June 8, 2016
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Staff of Howell-Edwards-Doerksen with Rigdon-Ransom Funeral Directors
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