St. Luke Homeowners of the Month: Marvin and Pat Thuringer
There is never a dull moment, or unhappy face, when Marvin and Pat Thuringer are around.
The couple, who moved to The Highlands on April 15, 2015, attended high school in Parkston, South Dakota together where Marvin still holds the school’s record of five touchdowns in one football game. He graduated, served on a U.S. Navy destroyer during the Korean War, and then, on the GI Bill, attended the former Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, South Dakota.
The two began dating while Pat pursued her associate degree in education at the same college. Before marrying in May 1958, Marvin taught history and government classes for five years in Alcester, South Dakota. Pat taught kindergarten and first-grade students for four years in Scotland and Freeman, South Dakota, and one year in Sioux City.
The Thuringers moved to Spencer from Sioux City in December 1973, when he was asked to open a Social Security Administration office in town. She, meantime, played volleyball and met new friends at the Spencer Family YMCA. Chuck Pletke, the organization’s former executive director, convinced Pat to begin working at the YMCA’s day care center.
During her over 35-year tenure at the YMCA’s Dvergsten Child Care Center, “Grandma Pat” filled her days working with area tots in the building’s day care and child care centers. She also taught Scamper Camp and Little Rascals summer programs. In early 2002, Pat was recognized by the Spencer Chamber of Commerce for her smile, for providing excellent customer service in her position, and for making “kids smile and feel welcome” and creating a “very positive image” for the community.
Once Marvin retired from the local Social Security office in the mid-1980s, he served as a RIDES driver for several years and enjoyed his self-taught hobbies of painting and drawing.
The couple, which has always enjoyed participating in different physical activities and exercises, continue this passion at The Highlands. Pat swims and takes part in exercise classes while Marvin walks. They enjoy watching Spencer Community Theatre plays, working on puzzles together and with others, attending Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and watching sports, namely the Minnesota Vikings, Iowa Hawkeyes and anything associated with golf or baseball.
“There is always an activity to attend at The Highlands, if we so choose,” Pat said.
“Our move to The Highlands has just been ideal,” Marvin added. “The people are very friendly here, we don’t have to worry about lawn work anymore, and I really enjoy our heated garage during these cold winter months.”
The Thuringers also take great pride in their family, which includes three great-grandchildren (with two more anticipated this summer), seven grandchildren, and three children: Tom Thuringer of Omaha, Nebraska, Cathy Shea of Bellevue, Nebraska, and Mark Thuringer of Cedar Falls.