January 18, 2011
Margaret Ann Thorsen, 89, of Sanibel passed away on Dec. 14, 2010. She was born on Nov. 2, 1921 in St. Paul, Minn. Preceded in death by father, Theodore Richard Thorsen; mother, Anna Elwess Thorsen and sister, Helen T. Blomquist. Many thanks to the devoted and loving care giving staff of Brandy, Jean, Kathleen, Denise, Linda, Susan and Takisha.
Margaret, Muggs, Thor or Dr. T were some of the many names by which her friends and colleagues knew her. She graduated from St. Paul Central High School in 1938, Carlton College in 1942 with a B.A., Wellesley in 1945 with an M.S., taught at the University of Arizona and Smith College, completed her doctoral at NYU in 1955, and taught at Springfield College in Massachusetts for 22 years from 1952 to 1974.
In late 1973, she vacationed on Sanibel, discovering the sea shore and shells, bought the Black Pearl Gift Store and her condo at Sand Pebbles, and remained her for the balance of her life among her dear friends. In 1986, she joined the original volunteers promoting the establishment of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, assumed the task of starting the library, cataloging the donations and setting up the computer systems. In 1997, the museum named its library after Dr. Thorsen for all her dedicated work.
The service will be at Courtney's Restaurant on Sanibel (attached to the Holiday Inn) on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at noon. Memorials are preferred to The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Library.