William Allan Thaanum Jr.


William Allan Thaanum Jr., 87, passed away Jan. 20, at his home in East Helena.

A celebration of his life will be held this summer. Retz Funeral Home in Helena is handling the arrangements.

He was born Dec. 2, 1925 to William Thaanum, Sr. and Blanche Peterson Thaanum in Conrad.

Bill graduated from Conrad High School and began his college education but had to take time out to serve as a corpsman in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II. After completing his service he returned to Montana to continue his education in Zoology. Bill married Marjorie Rossberg in Conrad on May 28, 1948.

They had four daughters and his career took the family to Portland, Spokane, Houston, Nashville and the San Francisco Bay area before returning to Portland. After retirement, Bill and Marjorie moved to Langlois, Ore., on the southern Oregon Coast and lived there until their daughters suggested it was time to give up the ocean views and rain of Oregon for the mountain views and snow of Montana. Bill and Marjorie moved to East Helena in September 2012.

Bill is survived by his wife Marjorie of almost 65 years: his daughters, Cindy (Nelson) Smallwood of Sandy, Ore., Debbe (Mark) Malensek of East Helena, Becky (Paul) Martello of Helena and Susan (Tim) Voorhies of Sherwood, Ore. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren plus two more due this spring and his beloved cat, Boots.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Bill will be greatly missed by his family and everyone who knew him. To offer a condolence to the family or share a memory of Bill, please visit: .