Siloam Springs Herald Leader
David LeRoy Thurstenson
David LeRoy Thurstenson, 80, of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, passed away on February 6, 2023. Dave was born on August 15, 1942, in Spencer, Nebraska, to John Josef and Elsie (Gall) Thurstenson. He spent his early childhood years on a farm in South Dakota. His family later moved to Norfolk, Nebraska, where he finished his schooling and met the love of his life, Myla Miller. Dave and Myla were married September 5, 1965, and they were blessed with three daughters.
Dave enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1961 and served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Dave was deployed to Vietnam in 1969 and 1971. During his second tour in 1971 he was a crewman on the C-7 Caribou, performing hazardous air drop and resupply missions. For this he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1971. Continuing his career as a C-130 flight engineer and instructor, he saw much of the world. He and his family enjoyed living in many places throughout the United States and Germany. Dave retired as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1985. After retirement, Dave and his family returned to Nebraska. He drove a school bus in Nebraska and Arkansas for many years.
In 1998, they moved to Arkansas to be closer to their grandchildren. Dave was known for his rich sense of humor and an ornery twinkle in his eye. He enjoyed camping, motorcycling, bird watching and travelling with Myla. Spending time with his children and grandchildren gave him great joy.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, John Josef and Elsie Thurstenson.
Dave is survived by his wife, Myla, of 57 years and his daughters: Cami (Matt) Jamison of Murphy, Texas; Cali (Marc) Hawbaker and Christi (Danny) Robinson of Siloam Springs. He is also survived by his brother Joe (Awynne) Thurstenson of Siloam Springs, and his sisters: Twylla (Galen) Helmkamp of Round Rock, Texas; Denise Scott of Joplin, Missouri; Linda (Kenny) Miller of Norfolk,
Nebraska; and Dawn Brittain of Haskell, Oklahoma. The Thurstensons are blessed with 13 grandchildren and their first great-grandchild.
In lieu of flowers, you may make donations in Dave’s name to The Wounded Warrior Project.
Visitation is Friday, February 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wasson Funeral Home in Siloam Springs.
Funeral Service is Saturday, February 11, at 10:30 a.m. at Wasson Funeral Home, followed by a
Celebration Luncheon at Trinity Pentecostal Church at noon.
Burial with military honors will take place Monday, February 13, at 11:30 a.m. at Fayetteville National Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to gather at Wasson Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Monday to proceed together to the cemetery.
To sign the online guestbook, please visit: www.wassonfuneralhome.com