Thorval A. “Thor” Sautter
Wed, 01/31/2018 - 11:51am admin
Thorval A. “Thor” Sautter, age 90, died Thursday, January 25, 2018.
He was born December 16, 1927 in Stevens Point, Wis. His father, Arthur Sautter, built a home for the family in Wausau, Wis., where Thor grew up. After high school, he moved to Madison to attend the University of Wisconsin and spent his summers working at a resort in Minocqua, Wis.
During his first year after college, the Korean War was starting, and he decided to enlist in the Army. After Army training, he was sent to Germany where he became a Sergeant-Major of an Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion in Augsburg and Munich, Germany.
After military service, Thor took a job with an insurance company in Milwaukee and was transferred to Rapid City, S.D. In Rapid City, he met school teacher Mary Doran from Sturgis, who was teaching at the Air Base. They married in Sturgis on December 28,1956 and started their lives together in Rapid City. After a few years, Thor and Mary bought a motel and moved to Wasta.
While in Wasta, Thor and Mary grew their family with six children. Thor was Chairman of the Town Board, a member of the South Dakota Municipal League Board, and a member of the South Dakota Crime Commission. While Thor and family continued running the motel, he left the insurance company and took a job at West River Electric in Wall. He then bought a flood damaged house in Rapid City and moved it to Wall, where they restored it and made their home.
In Wall, Thor was soon promoted to General Manager, and he served in that role for 20 years. He became committee chairman for the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA) and conducted NRECA meetings in various parts of the country. Thor led a committee that established certified territories for Electric Utilities in Rapid City and the surrounding area. He served as the Board chair for North Central Data Cooperative in Mandan, N.D. In Wall, Thor was a member of the Town Board, was President of the Wall Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Rapid City Regional Hospital Board, was on the Wall Health Care Board, and was chairman of St. Patrick’s Church Council.
In 1994, they moved back to Rapid City. Thor was a member of the Morning Optimists Club and continued his service on the Rapid City Regional Hospital Board. He was President of the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), and an active member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and their Holy Elders Seniors Group. He and his wife Mary also travelled extensively during his retirement years, attending several Elderhostel Educational Programs. Eventually, Thor and Mary moved into West Hills Village in Rapid City.
Thor is survived by wife, Mary; children: John (Kim), Elizabeth (Randy) Hamburg, Suzanne (Kelly) Lambert, Bill, Jim, Margaret (Loyd) Garrison; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions can be sent to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation Fund for Education.
Visitation will be from 6:00 -7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at Blessed Sacrament Church with a Christian Wake Service and Rosary at 7:00 p.m.
Christian Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 2, 2018 at the church with Rev. Michel Mulloy presiding.
Burial with full military honors rendered by the Rushmore VFW Post 1273 and the South Dakota Army National Guard will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.