In memory of


Sep 6, 1943
Jan 17, 2023


John Thune passed away in the early morning of January 17 in Salem, Oregon,  in the care facility in which he lived for the past 6 months. John lived with multiple sclerosis for the past 25 years and suffered a stroke in July of 2022.

John was many things:  husband, father, best friend, life insurance agent, teacher, reluctant church choir member, amateur comedian with a repertoire of eye-rolling jokes. But high on his list, he was a golf enthusiast.  In his last months, he continued to reminisce about his hole-in-one at the Elks Country Club in Lewistown, MT, and often would ask his son, John Mark, how his golf clubs were fairing once he had to give up the sport.  A picture of his hole-in-one hung proudly in his room until his last day.

John earned the moniker, “Gentleman John,”during his time as a New York life agent in Lewistown, MT, where he proudly served many families.  Any local resident during that time would no doubt remember the iconic “Gentleman John Thune” ads on the local radio station. Having been brought up with traditional values, he lived his life and earned his reputation as a man whose word could be trusted.

While in Lewistown he loved having daily coffee with his friends and colleagues, first at Pete’s Drive Inn and then at the Dairy Queen. He assured his wife he wrote a lot of business while having coffee or playing golf. After moving to Albany, he resumed this practice with his new network of friends and business acquaintances, along with weekly lunch with his best friend, Dick Running.

While John loved teaching, he found his niche as a salesman. He always said it was important to give people the opportunity to turn him down rather than not offer a service that could be beneficial. With this same outlook, he did well at fund raising, which he successfully did for his church as well as the MS Society, for whom he often was among the top 10 fundraisers in the state.

John was known for his love of Oreo Cookies, bad taste in TV and a head of hair that was immovable.  His kids and their friends assumed that being “Gentleman John” meant no hair was ever allowed to be out of place.  Upon realizing this was just his personal preference,  they often joked that he was the worst paid spokesman for his favorite brand of hairspray.

John was born in Williston, ND, the youngest of three children to Merle and Larry Thune.  They  moved to Minot, ND, where he finished high school and college at Minot State earning a Bachelor’s degree.  John met his wife Victoria first in the 6th grade and later in college, where he carried her French horn to class.  After they married, they moved to Glendive, MT, where he taught English for three years and then settled in Lewistown, MT, where he continued teaching junior high school English before becoming “Gentleman John”.  John and Victoria raised their children in Lewistown and in 1991, moved to Albany, OR, to take over the New York Life Insurance office from retired agent, Don Moreland.

John is survived by his wife of 55 years, Victoria of Albany, OR, his son John Mark of Ft. Benton, MT, daughter Stefanie (Andrew Barnes), Lake Oswego, OR, grandchildren Sarina Aamold, Lake Oswego, OR, Carley (Walt) Rehbein, and new great granddaughter, Olivia, Springdale, MT, Colton Thune, Havre, MT. He is also survived by his sister Lois Rennerfeldt (Earl), Williston, ND, sister-in-law Betty Thune, Fargo, ND, brother-in-law Jerry Stong, Keizer, OR, sister-in-law Sharon Stong, Keizer, OR, many nieces and nephews and his best friend, Dick Running.  John was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Gary.

A Celebration of John’s life is scheduled for March 4 at Albany Golf and Event Center. Memorials can be made to your local MS Chapter or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Albany, OR. A very special thank you to the loving care provided by the staff at Sweet Bye & Bye in Salem and Willamette Vital Health Hospice.

Service Information

Celebration Of Life
March 4, 2023 11am-3pm
Albany Golf and Event Center

Messages of Sympathy

  1. Annette & Bob Bjelland says:

    John was a hilarious, friendly, and happy person. Bob and I send our sympathies to Vicki and family. We were so lucky to have you in our church!! Bob loved having John on his credit union board. My girls and us were happy to know him and and you Vicki and family. Rest in peace with God John

  2. Vicky Murray Galt says:

    So sorry to hear about Mr. Thune. He was one of my favorite teachers! Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

  3. Vicky Murray Galt says:

    Thinking of you Vicky and your family. Mr. Thune was one of my favorite teachers! Hugs and prayers

  4. Nancy Moncur Richins says:

    Sorry to here of your loss. Vicki. May God wrap his arms around you and your family and bring you comfort and peace

  5. Shayli (Tindall) Sutton says:

    So sorry for your loss. Vicky, Mark & Stefanie, you & your family are in my thoughts & prayers.

  6. Shonny Keller Nordlund says:

    So sorry to hear this. He was one of my favorite teachers. The Thune family was very special to my family!!! So sorry for your loss, Vickie and the rest of the family!!!

  7. Cynthia (Baumann) Thomas says:

    My sincerest condolences. May his memory be a blessing.

  8. Quincy and Kay Forget Lewistown says:

    So sorry to hear about John prayers for all ofyou

  9. Brother Erik says:

    Dear Thune family,
    Our hearts hurt when your heart hurts. Please know that God also shares in your loss. But He is also there to strengthen you through this challenging time. 1 Thessalonians 2:16,17 reminds us "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and gave everlasting comfort and good hope by means of underserved kindness, comfort your hearts and make you firm." Trust that God will continue to give you what you need day by day to cope. God also has promised an end to death on earth. To learn what the Bible teaches about the end of death please see this encouraging Bible-based video.

  10. Staff of Johnson Funeral Home says:

    Thank you for trusting Johnson Funeral Home with his arrangements.

Share Your Sympathy