Victor Robert “Bob” Thomsen of Lander, Wyo. passed away on Nov. 26 at the age of 86, with family by his side. He was born in The Dalles, Ore., on Dec. 8, 1932 to Victor and Daisy (Davidson) Thomsen. They moved to Hood River, Ore. In 1923, his parents bought an orchard in Pine Grove.  

He graduated from Hood River High School, where he was on the football team.  He was also a Boy Scout and climbed Mount Hood with his troop. 

After graduating, he attended Oregon State University, where he met the love of his life, Bette Pinniger. They were married in 1952 and settled on his family’s orchard.

Bob joined the military in 1954 and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kan. Bob and Bette would have their first child, Lynn, before being discharged from the military in 1956.  During this time, Bob did a lot of buying and selling of antique guns. Seeking out antiques was an activity Bob and Bette enjoyed throughout their lives together. This activity even led to an antique store in Mosier that they had for a number of years.

After moving back to Hood River, Bob and Bette had three more children, Chuck, Christy, and Lisa. During this time he purchased his own orchard and moved to his home on Old Dalles Dr. While farming, he also acquired quite a collection of antique cars, which led to him buying a car dealership in White Salmon, Wash.

Bob enjoyed spending time with his family, riding horses and hunting. They made Sunday trips to his to mom’s family wheat ranch on Eight Mile in The Dalles, Ore. Bob also took his family on yearly trips to Jackson Hole, Wyo.

While in Hood River, Bob served on the school board, and was one of the founders of the Pine Grove Fire Department Auction. He also did a lot of hunting with a group called “The Snake River Six.” Later, this hunting group bought a cabin in Lander, Wyo., where they continued to hunt. While on these hunting trips, he fell in love with Wyo. He decided to purchase a ranch in Lander and moved there in 1980. At one point, his ranch was the fifth largest ranch in Wyoming.

While ranching in Wyoming, he also pursued his love of hunting. He got the “Big Five” in Africa. Then continued hunting in New Zealand, Canada, and Alaska. Bette enjoyed these trips as well, capturing the hunts with her camera.

In 1995, Bob and Bette received the Landowners of the Year Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to wildlife management. His property reflected a long-standing dedication to maintaining quality habitat for Wyoming wildlife. He also served on the Enterprise Ditch Board and the Soil and Conservation District.

Bob was a loving family man dedicated to his wife and family. He always made sure his family was taken care of. He was a strong and determined man and accomplished many things in his lifetime.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Daisy Thomsen, as well as his wife of 66 years, Bette. Surviving family members include: Daughter, Lynn Moore (and husband, Bruce) of Hood River, Ore.; son, Senator Chuck Thomsen (and wife, Kristi) of Hood River, Ore.; daughter, Christy Ewald (and husband, Tom) of Hood River, Ore.; daughter, Lisa Elisea (and husband, Ramiro) of Lander, Wyo.; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

A service for Bob will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at Valley Worship Center in Mt. Hood. Bob will be laid to rest at Pine Grove Cemetery with a reception to follow at Pine Grove Grange. Visitation will be Tuesday Dec. 3, from 4-6 p.m. at Andersen’s Tribute Center. There will be a memorial service in Lander, Wyo. at a future date. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.

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