Robert “Bob” Vernon Thoren, 95, of Elgin, passed away at Avantara of Elgin on July 13, 2019. He was born June 23, 1924 in Rockford, IL to his loving parents, Rudolph and Eugenie Thoren (Wonase).
He lived in Savannah, IL until age eight. Bob moved to Elgin, IL at age nine and started golfing at Wing Park. He once played 99 holes in one day! Later in life he shot the course record of 29, which still stands today, and he won multiple Elgin City Championship titles at Wing Park.
He graduated from Elgin High School as Class President, Class of 1942. Bob briefly worked at Illinois Tool Works before joining the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a Radio Repairman and earned the American Theater Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and Victory Medal – World War II. After the war, he graduated from the University of South Carolina, where he made the Dean’s List and was President of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Bob moved back to Elgin and raised his family, while continuing his amateur golf career. After playing against – and beating – Arnold Palmer in college golf, he played and won many amateur tournaments.
He played golf into his senior years, even playing at age 94 in last fall’s Elgin Sports Hall of Fame tournament, an organization where he was ever so proud to be a member, and the eldest living inductee. The tournament in fitting fashion for his last round was held at Elgin Country Club where he played the majority of his golf, including 14 Club Championship titles, setting the course record, eight hole-in-ones, a double eagle two on the par five 8th hole, and frankly, he won every tournament they ever had.
Bob was a 67 year member of the Elgin Country Club, where the 10th hole is named “Thoren’s Hollow” in his honor. He was also the Club’s only Life Member. He loved Elgin Country Club and was fortunate to enjoy their Easter Brunch just three months ago.
Bob retired from Elgin Machine Works/Elgin Industries, where he worked for more than 40 years, and later moved to Diamond Head, Mississippi, where he lived and played at Diamond Head Country Club. He shot the Diamond Head course record of 65 while in his 70s. In fact, he played in a Senior Tournament there and shot a 75 at age 89, beating his age by 14!
Bob was a member of Elgin American Legion Post 57.
Loved ones will remember him as a caring, loving man with a kind smile. Everyone loved him and will miss him.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; and great-granddaughter Lillie Rado.
Bob is survived by his sons, Steve (Maureen), of Elgin and David (Marsha) of Belvedere; grandchildren Spike (Stephanie) of Hampshire, Jennifer (Craig) Rado of Garden Prairie, and Jacqueline Olwell of Elgin; eight great-grandchildren; along with countless friends.
Visitation will be 4:00p.m. – 8:00p.m. Thursday July 18, 2019 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park St., Elgin IL 60120. Visitation will continue 10:00a.m.until time of Funeral Service with military honors by the U.S. Army and American Legion Post 57 at 11:30a.m. Friday July 19, 2019 at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, Rev. Michael Murschel officiating. Interment will be private at Lakewood Memorial Park, Elgin.
For more information call 847-741-1128 or visit www.symondsmadisonfuneralhome.com.