Floral 29

Irna Thoms


Irna (Miller) Thoms, 92, Kalispell, MT passed peaceful at home with her children and a few close friends by her side on May 28, 2022.

Irna was the first child born in the community of Vega, Alberta to Paulina (Jantz) and Edward Miller.  She was the third oldest of 11 children.  She stayed and worked on the homestead helping her parents with farm chores and her younger siblings until her dad sold the Homestead and bought a restaurant in Ontario, Canada. After a short stay in Ontario the family returned to the Vega/Barrhead area.  Her dad bought a restaurant in Barrhead and Irna waited tables. When Irna was reminiscing about her time waiting tables a gentleman would stand at the door to see what section she was work, so he could find a table in her section.  He knew she would make sure his steak was cooked the way he like it, “rare”, he always left her a dollar tip, back in those days a waitress was lucky to get a ten cent tip.

On December 23, 1949 Irna married Arthur Thoms at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Edmonton, Alberta.  Shortly thereafter they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and bought a house in Burnaby, British Columbia.  Their three children Paul Edward (Ed), Bonnie Anne and Garry Arthur were born.

In 1956 the family moved to the states.  Art was in construction work, mostly underground construction building water, railroads and road tunnels.  Irna cared for the children, moving several times in the 50s through the following towns:  Estacada, OR; Concrete, WA; Glen Canyon, Page, AZ/UT; Sandy, OR; Enumclaw, WA and Paradise, CA.  In the 60s their travels took them to:  Reading, CA; (Colorado Springs, Fountain and Security, CO) on the NORAD Project; Oregon House, CA; O’Brian/Kerby, OR; Packwood, WA; Loomis, CA; Lafayette, CA; Walnut Creek, CA; Buena Vista, CO; Aztec, NM; Durango, CO, and Pagosa Springs, CO.  Throughout all their travels Irna always made sure educational and historical stops so the children could to learn about the surroundings and places they lived.

In October 1966 Irna and the family moved to Fortine, MT.  Irna told Art, “We need to stay put until the children are out of high school.”  Lincoln County High School was the third high school Ed had attended.  Irna’s wish was fulfilled as all three of the children graduated from LCHS.

In June of 1971 Irna flew to Australia to be with Art.  He was working for Guy F Atikson Company from South San Francisco, CA.  This company was the contractor responsible for 26 miles of water tunnels diverting water over the dividing range into the Yarra Dam to provide water for the city of Melbourne. They returned to Eureka in February of 1972 and Irna managed the Kasanka Motel while Art worked for Kenny Gwynn at his Sawmill before heading to Elko, NV to work on the Carlin Highway Tunnels.   In 1974 Irna and Art were off to Alaska to working on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Irna in the culinary union.  Christmas of 1976 she returned to Kalispell and in the spring of 1977 Irna and Art built their home near Kalispell, MT. 

Irna and Art spent many years traveling in their motorhome.  They would head “North” to Alaska in the summer fishing at their cabin in Copper River.  In the fall they would travel back to Kalispell and in the winter they would “Snowbird” to Arizona for part of the winter before returning to Kalispell and back to Alaska for their summer fishing trip.  

After Art passed away in 1997 Irna moved into Kalispell. 

The greatest loves of her life were her children, and being with her adopted sister (LeAna Sacrison) whom she had been with for over 58 years.  Nancy Sacrison was a small child that Irna adopted as part of the family.   Irna loved flowers and garden.  Irna and LeAna gardened together for several years and many hours were spent in the gardens.  Irna also loved helping LeAna with the Farmers Market.

Irna leaves behind her son – Ed (Beth Torsello) - (Polson, MT); daughter – Bonnie (Ann Miller) - (Little Canada, MN); Son - Garry (Sheri Keil) - (Kalispell, MT); Granddaughter – Kylie Thoms (Kailua-Kona, Hi); Goddaughter Cindy (Grist) Wolfe (Prince George, BC, Canada); Sister – Genia Obal (Montrose, BC, Canada); Adopted Sister – LeAna Sacrison (Kalispell, MT); numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews-nephews, great-great-nieces, great-great-nephews and numerous friends.

Irna was preceded in death by her mother Paulina and Edward Miller and 9 of her siblings:  Leda Branden (Burnaby, Canada); Albert Miller (Vega, Alberta, Canada); Elsa Grist (Lange, BC, Canada); Henry Miller (Winfield, BC, and Canada); Eveline Wilson (Fort Assiniboine, Alberta, Canada), Fred Miller (Penticton): Olly Boyson (Saedis, BC, Canada); Margaret Coneen (Victoria, Canada), Ron Miller (Abborfords, BC, Canada).  Along with her immediate family she lost her dear little Nancy Sacrison and Nancy’s father Hans Sacrison.

Funeral Services were held June 6 at 1:00pm at Darlington Cremation and Burial Services in Kalispell, MT.  Celebration of Life followed the service at Irna’s favorite eating place, Famous Dave’s. Burial took place June 7 at 1:00pm at Glacier Memorial Cemetery.  Pallbearers:  Ed Thoms, Ken Wolfe, Barry Roose and Kent Keil.   Honorary Pallbearers:  Bruce Mower, Karmel (Livesay) Duffy, Lori Livesay and Pete Rynshoven.

Memorials in Irna’s name can be made to the charity of your choice or sent to the family at 147 Fairway Blvd, Kalispell, MT 59001

A live stream will be available at the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/irna-thoms

Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for her family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Irna Thoms, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Irna

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