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John Ross Thurston

John Ross Thurston

February 9, 2018

John Ross Thurston, 93, died on February 9, 2018, at River Pines Nursing Home in Altoona, Wisconsin.

John was born in the old Sacred Hospital in Eau Claire to John and Mary Thurston on April 6, 1924, and he was raised in Altoona.

John served in the Navy as a signalman during World War II.  He was on the USS Porter and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands. 

John earned his BA and Masters degrees at Madison and his PhD at Iowa University and served as a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Clare until his retirement in the mid- 80s. He was also a clinical psychologist at Northwest Psychiatric Services.

John married Helen Kroll in 1952, and they had two children, Amy and David.  John married Betty Loomis in 1982. During their time together, John and Betty enjoyed several memorable trips around the globe.

John enjoyed visiting National Parks, advocating for the rights of women and animals, and preserving local history. He was instrumental in securing National Register status for the Kinnickinnic Church near River Falls in 2001, and he researched and wrote extensively about the history of Altoona.  A lifelong humanist, he designed and placed two large "geoglyph" designs on his property, in tribute to acquaintances who were battling cancer.

John enjoyed pondering upon the mysteries of life and devised little maxims he called pithograms. He published many articles and other writings, most recently "Nurses’ Communicative and Empathic Skills (2015)" and "The Thurstonian Theory (2014).”

John is preceded in death by wife, Betty; son, David; and brother, Richard Thurston.

John is survived by daughter, Amy Thurston of Hudson; nephews, Rick (Kathy) Thurston, Greg (Sarah) Thurston, and Dan Thurston; stepchildren, Bill (Sandi) Loomis and Sandra (Kevin) Larson; family friends, Becky Johnson, Deb (Denny) Fjelstad, Patti Stangel, Carol Benning, Jerry and Betty Harper; and canine friend Johnny.

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services of Altoona, WI, is assisting the family. Per John’s request, there will be no service.  To sign the guestbook or share a memory online, please visit www.chippewavalleycremation.com.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Eau Claire Community Foundation (The Thurston “It’s the Little Things” Family Fund), Wildlife R and R in Colfax, or Bob’s House for Dogs.