Norma Thorson; Retired Base Commander’s Wife


Oxnard resident Norma G. Thorson, who met her husband while working for the secretary of defense in Washington in the 1950s, died Dec. 31, just 12 days after his passing. She was 88.

Thorson was born Feb. 9, 1909, in York, Neb. She met Robert Dean Thorson, a Navy man, at a meeting in the secretary of defense’s office. It was love at first sight, family members said, and the couple married March 14, 1953.

Norma Thorson had previously served as an installation planner for the U.S. Army and received a Medal of Honor for her work, family members said.


In 1963, she moved with her husband to Ventura County, where he served as commanding officer of the Naval Construction Battalion Center and commander of the 31st Naval Construction Regiment. The couple lived in Oxnard.

She was a member of the Retired Officers’ Wives Club, Friends of the Thomas R. Bard Mansion, the Ventura County Women’s Council, the U.S. Navy League, Hueneme Beautiful and the Ventura County Symphony League.

She is survived by her sister, Ruth Moore, of York, Neb; numerous nieces and nephews; and longtime family friend John Gerard of Oxnard. The couple considered Gerard the son they never had, friends said.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the James A. Reardon Chapel, 511 North A St. in Oxnard. Donations may be made to Friends of the Thomas R. Bard Mansion, P.O. Box 113, Port Hueneme, CA 93044.

A private burial of Thorson and her husband will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the supervision of James A. Reardon Mortuary in Oxnard.