In Memory of Virgil Thoner


9:00 am
Saturday March 20, 2021
First Covenant Church
1374 N. Main Street
River Falls WI, 54022

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday March 20, 2021
First Covenant Church
1374 N. Main Street
River Falls WI, 54022

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Virgil Robert Thoner, age 94 and formerly of Ellsworth, WI was called to his Heavenly home on March 14, 2021 at Kinnic Health & Rehab in River Falls, WI. Virgil was born on December 11, 1926 in Montevideo, MN to Gilbert and Mabel (Peterson) Thoner.  He was the third of six children.

He graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1944.  Virgil married Lorraine Hjerpe on September 3, 1949 at Bethel Mission Covenant Church in rural Ellsworth.  He then took over the dairy farm from his parents, where he and Lorraine raised four children: Steven, Bryan, Jacquelyn, and Alan. He and Lorraine enjoyed 60 years of marriage before Lorraine passed away in 2010.

In 1972, Virgil obtained his real estate license and joined Kenall-Kruger Real Estate of River Falls who then opened an Ellsworth office. In 1978, after his son Bryan took over the dairy farm, Virgil started Thoner Real Estate.

Virgil served on the Pierce-Pepin Electric Co-op, serving as secretary on the board.  He also received many awards from Mid-America Dairymen, Inc. for Quality Milk. Virgil enjoyed bowling on leagues in Red Wing, MN for many years. He was a BIG Minnesota Vikings fan and loved to attend Ellsworth Panther sporting events, especially wrestling. He loved to travel, and some of his highlights brought him to Norway and Sweden.  At the age of 50, he started golfing and golfed as often as he could up until the age of 90.  Many of his trips lead him to places where he could golf and visit friends and family.

He was an active member of Zion Covenant Church in Ellsworth, WI where he loved serving his Lord and Savior as he sat on many boards and committees throughout the years. In 2019 after living in Red Wing a couple years, he moved to Wellhaven Senior Apartments and transferred his membership to First Covenant Church in River Falls, WI.

Virgil is survived by his four children: Steven (Roxanne) Thoner, Bryan (Kathleen) Thoner, Jacquelyn (Daniel) Wallace, and Alan (LuAnn) Thoner.  His eleven grandchildren: Anika (Andrew) Borner, MItchell (Ashley) Thoner, Katie (Todd) VanGuerrin, Karen Thoner, Jeffrey (Natasha) Thoner, Jeri Thoner, Nicholas (Cindy) Wallace, Janelle (Travis) Niebeling, Lindsay (Grant) Holzhueter, Amanda (Ryan) Dodge, and Dewey Thoner, and 15 great-grandchildren and 2 step-great-grandsons. He is also survived by two sisters; Phyllis Bostrom of River Falls, WI and Shirley (Ted) Place of Hager City, WI and sister-in-law Betty Thoner of Spring Valley, CA as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Lorraine; brother Rollin Thoner; two sisters, Lorraine Nelson and Joan Holmquist; and three brother-in-laws; Donald (Bud) Bostrom, Kenneth Nelson, and Charles Holmquist.

Virgil’s love of life was to live for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The family is comforted knowing that Virgil is fully healed, and now resides with his Father in Heaven.

Funeral Services for Virgil Thoner will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, March 20th at the First Covenant Church of River Falls, 1374 N. Main Street in River Falls, WI. Visitation will be held at the church on Saturday morning, beginning at 9:00am. Use of masks and social distancing will be practiced. Following services, Virgil will be brought to the Bethel Covenant Church Cemetery in rural Ellsworth, where a family burial will take place. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bethel Mission Cemetery Association.

Services were entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Homes of Ellsworth and River Falls, WI. 715-425-5644

Virgil's Tribute Wall

Tributes (9):

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  • So sorry to learn of Virgil’s passing. He was a good neighbor and a gentleman.
    You all took such great care of him throughout his long life.
    God bless.
    Jeanne Fink

  • I always believed that VIRGIL would survive at least until he grew a couple of gray hairs. Sad to say he is now gone but with lots of only brown hair. Having VIRGIL as my older cousin for 87 years was a great learning and fun experience for me. After leaving Ellsworth at age 10 with my family VIRGIL visited me in Los Angeles and as we grew older many visits with VIRGIL and Lorraine in Houston and even once with granddaughters Katie and Karen. Gloria and I looked forward to their road trip visits and news of Ellsworth and his growing family of grandchildren. Virgil kept Ellsworth alive for me for 77 years and Gloria and I are grateful for all of those years. Rest In Peace.

  • Thinking of all of you in the Thoner Family❤️❤️❤️ Hugs from Ellen and Ole Edvard in Norway

  • Rich and I were so saddened to hear of the passing of Virgil. What a wonderful man with a beautiful, loving family that he loved so much. He lived a full and joyful life! So many memories through the years but what I will remember most is Virg’s contagious and special laugh! Our prayers are with all the family.
    Rich and Deb (Bystrom) Lucero

  • We are sending lots of love and prayers your way during this time. We can’t say enough good things about Uncle Virgil. His love for life, the Lord and the Covenant Church was contagious. Everywhere he went he brought the joy of it. His passion for farming, real estate and then golf emulated his spirit of excellence. I’m sure Virgil will be having the time of his life as he enjoys the beauty and splendor of his heavenly home. I’ve heard it said that you do in heaven, a form of the work you loved to do on earth.
    May the peace and love of God see you thru this time.
    God bless you all.

  • To Virgil’s family we want to express our love and pray God’s comfort to you all. I had a few great golf talks with him and loved his wonderful enthusiasm for life! He had one of my favorite laughs! We all know what a reunion is going on in heaven, stay close to Jesus, we’ve still got work to do here for Him. Regrettably we’ll be out of town visiting our kids out east, but wanted to let you all know we love you and you’re in our thoughts and prayers! Rick & Kris Swanson

  • Ohhh Kent and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. Virgil was such a great guy. He sold us our land where we live now. That was my first time meeting him. He walked the land and talk talk talk….Then I got to know him through my job. He was always entertaining. He often talked about golf…then he moved to Red Wing he still would drive to Ellsworth for business. He always spoke highly of his children. Very proud of all of you. Hugs to you all and god bless you all!