Nels Fredrick Thommesen

Nels Fredrick Thommesen, age 88, of Oconomowoc and Tomahawk, Wis., passed away quietly on Nov. 12, 2023, in Lehigh Acres, Fla. He was born on Oct. 23, 1935, in West Allis, Wis., to Helga and Olaf Thommesen. The family moved to Okauchee about 1952 and he graduated from Oconomowoc High School in 1954.

Nels served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1957 in Great Lakes, Ill., and later Norfolk, Va., as a FPG3, Pipefitter/Fireman on the USS Sierra (AD-18). Honorably discharged, he had a successful career at Thor Power Tools and Aurora Pump Supply until retirement in 1996 as Vice President. 

His greatest joy came from living on Lac La Belle with his wife, Judy, of 24 years and their four cherished children. For many years, he sailed as part of the Yacht Club, in the summer, and ran with the Frozen Butts Incorporated (FBI) Snowmobile Club in the winter. As active as they were, at the end of day, there was always time to enjoy sipping a vodka and tonic while watching the magical sunsets over Lac La Belle and later from his deck in Tomahawk.

Nels had a variety of talents and interests in his life. If he wasn’t enjoying races at any of the multiple tracks he would attend, he would be rooting for his favorite NASCAR drivers. In July, he was always excited to get to see the Offenhauser-Miller cars at state fair park. He was in awe of the Thunderbirds and would go to the EAA shows to see the war birds fly. As a good Norwegian, Nels had a fun sense of humor. Always making silly faces when slurping down raw oysters and Lutefisk but following it up with a quirky smile and proclaiming “SO GOOOD!” He was a kind soul with a big heart and bigger hugs. Passionate to help any of his multitude of friends at a given notice.

 Nels will be deeply missed by his sister, Grace Thommesen, his children, Kimberly (Paul) Carpenter, Timothy (Dawn) Thommesen, Terry Krenzelok, Scott (Sara) Thommesen, nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, countless extended family and friends, and his ever-loyal lap buddy, Thommy 2. 

 He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 24 years, Judy Hales Thommesen, his parents, Olaf, and Helga Paulson Thommesen, his brothers, Milton (Ruth), Ivar (Pat), Wesley (Fusako “Dee”), nephew Michael (Anna) Ewanowski, and his sisters-in-law, Penny (Pete) Francisco and Leslie (Jim) Mueller.

The family wishes to extend our deepest appreciation to Dawn Thommesen, daughter-in-law, for the care and dedication given to Nels, and special thanks to Hope Hospice of Florida, the V.A. of Florida, Rhinelander, Milwaukee, Wis., and Iron Mountain, Mich.

The family is planning a 2024 summer gathering in Oconomowoc to honor Nels’ life. A GO FUND ME PAGE has been set up at to purchase a City of Oconomowoc Park bench in his memory for friends and family, to sit, relax and take in a Lac La Belle sunset that he and Judy enjoyed so much. Donations are appreciated.

In the words of one of dad’s favorite singers, Vera Lynn “Until we’ll meet again.”

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