JOPLIN Wally Dale Thomsen, 87, of Joplin was found dead Sunday afternoon, Oct. 8, 2006, at his home, where he had apparently collapsed in his utility shed sometime Friday evening.
Memorial services will be 3 p. m. Friday at the Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester. Wally and Lucille’s ashes will be buried together at the Kuper Memorial Cemetery in Chinook at a later date. Wallace Dale “Wally” Thomsen was born Dec. 9, 1918, at Minden, Neb. He grew up in Minden and worked part time at a local movie theatre during his high school years. In the late 1930s, Wally worked as a laborer in construction of the Ogallala Dam near Ogallala, Neb. In the 1940s, he continued to live in Nebraska where he was employed as a busdriver for Greyhound Buslines and as a clerk for Woolworth Department Stores. Wally moved to Montana in the 1950s and took a job at the Chinook Oil Refinery. While living in Chinook, he met and married Margaret Lucille (Dehl) Guertzgen in 1960. They purchased the Aero Lounge in Chinook in 1965 and owned/operated the business for seven years, then sold it. Shortly thereafter, the oil refinery closed, leaving Wally unemployed, so the Thomsens went looking for another business venture. They moved to Chester in 1972 and purchased Pappy’s Bar. They operated the little hometown tavern until their retirement in 1976, when they sold the business. The Thomsens moved to Joplin and lived there from that time on. Wally’s wife, Lucille, died April 2. He continued to live alone in their Joplin home. Wally enjoyed his daily social trips inand- around the Joplin and Chester communities. He was fortunate to maintain a sharp mind, but his physical health had started to deteriorate in recent months. Last weekend, he failed to answer phone calls from outof- state family members, so local authorities were called to check on him. Wally was a very talented man who could fix anything. He was also well-read and educated, and was a whiz when it came to completing even the most difficult crossword puzzles. In his quiet time at home, he enjoyed watching the old game shows on television. He was also a fan of the NFL, especially his favorite team, the Denver Broncos. Wally was a good cook one of his best prepared meals was fried chicken and his favorite food was mashed potatoes. He and Lucille enjoyed playing 500 Rummy together at home and they also enjoyed playing the poker machines around town. During their retirement years, they made several memorable trips throughout the United States. Wally was an honest man and a hard worker. Lucille’s children appreciated his care and friendship to them and their mother during his 45 years of marriage to her. Wally was preceded in death by his wife; parents; sister; and stepson, Lawrence Guertzgen. Survivors include his stepsons, Melvin “Mick” (Claudia) Guertzgen of Thermopolis, Wyo., Dale (Sharon) Guertzgen of Randolph, Utah, Byron (Senda) Guertzgen of Louisiana, Mo., and William “Bill” Guertzgen of Joplin; daughters-in-law, Diane Guertzgen of Vancouver, Wash., and Erna Guertzgen of Chester; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.