Cover photo for John Thorval Pearson's Obituary
John Thorval Pearson Profile Photo
1961 John 2018

John Thorval Pearson

May 6, 1961 — September 22, 2018

John Thorval Pearson, 57, of Frazee, MN, passed away on September 22, 2018 at hisresidence, Hungry Lake Ranch, surrounded by his wife, Julie, family and friends, after a long,courageous fight with cancer. John was born on May 6, 1961, in Detroit Lakes, MN to Georgeand Edna Mae (Olson) Pearson. He graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1979, wherehe participated in band, football and hockey and earned his nickname, Scrapper. He attendedand played hockey at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN for 2 years until a knee injury endedhis hockey playing career. John transferred to NDSU in Fargo, ND, where he graduated in 1983with a degree in Agricultural Business.In 1984 John was on his way in business with the start of Becker Feed and Farm Supply inDetroit Lakes. He and his partner, Ross Bjorklund, created a successful business withdedication and hard work, until a dreadful fire destroyed the business and their dreams onChristmas Eve, 1996. Adversity has never kept John down for long, and he started his currentbusiness, Glacier Salt in 1997. He developed a prosperous, thriving business of his own, whichis still going strong, that he was involved in it until the very end. He was fortunate to have loyalemployees and friends that were always available to lend a hand.John started investing in real estate with his first purchase of property on Detroit Mountain,where he lived for several years, and recently has been developing into lots for sale. He alsoneeded a place for his salt business to accept rail cars. A lot in Hawley, MN became the perfectspot next to the tracks and had a cement building designed and erected for salt storage. Heloves the outdoors and purchased a ranch outside of Frazee, MN, along with lakeshore onHungry Lake. He learned early to enjoy farming from his grandfather and has had severalanimals throughout the years. Most recently, you see the cattle and horses on his ranch as youpull into the drive.On April 29, 2006, John was united in marriage to Julie Nettestead, and widowed on May 29,2006, after his wife fought a tough battle with cancer.John was fortunate to find an Angel sent from God in his second wife, Julie Ries-Walker. Theywere married at the Hungry Lake Ranch on September 23, 2017. She was the spunky partnerhe needed to keep him grounded in life, and the selfless caregiver he needed to follow hiswishes to the end of his courageous battle with cancer, keeping him on the ranch until the veryend.John loved spending time with his family and friends, and finding peace in the great outdoors.Hunting, fishing, skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, kayaking, roasting brats and smores andwatching the beautiful sunsets on Hungry Lake were just a few of John’s favorite activities. Hewelcomed all to his ranch and lakeshore, always showing them a great time. He had a generousheart, and it showed in all that he did for others. He especially loved children, spoiling hisnieces, and more recently his grandson and great nephew.John’s strong faith carried him through the many struggles he overcame in his life. He was aproud member of First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, MN for 57 years. He shared his faithwith others and was an inspiration to many.John is survived by his wonderful wife, Julie; stepson, Mathew (Alexis) Walker, Alexandria, MN;grandson, Emmett; mother, Edna Mae, Detroit Lakes, MN; brother, Tim (Kathi), Vadnais Hts,MN; sister, Diana Pearson, Detroit Lakes, MN; nieces, Kallie Pearson, Emma Pearson, AliciaKopec and Ariana Kopec; great nephew, Axel John. Father and mother-in-law, Maury andClara Ries; brother and sister-in-laws John and Cathy Ries, Sue and Wayne Ristvedt, Cathyand Russ Seaberg, Bill and Julie Ries; along with several nieces and nephews from the Riesfamily.John was preceded in death by his first wife, Julie Pearson; father, George Pearson;sister-in-law, Jane Ries-Radermacher; grandparents, Thorval and Alice Olson, John andKatherine Pearson; and uncle, George Munig.Visitation will be Friday, September 28, 2018, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at WestKjos Funeral Home,900 Summit Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501, with a Prayer Service starting at 7:00 pm.Funeral Service will be Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 11:00 am at First Lutheran Church,912 Lake Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Burial to follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.A special thank you to Dr. John Tate and staff at Lake Region Cancer Center in Fergus Falls,MN and Hospice of The Red River Valley for their dedication and care.
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