Melinda Marlene ‘Mindy’ Becher was born May 12, 1954, in Westbrook, MN the daughter of John Leonard and Marlene Carol (Ackman) Thorsness. She passed away on Monday, December 27, 2021, at her residence in Dolores, CO at the age of 67.
As Mindy grew up her family moved around a lot as her father was a minister. They lived in Storden, MN; Buffalo, SD; Lake Havasu City, AZ where she graduated from high school. Soon her family bought some land in Durango to call home. When she first moved to Durango she worked at the Bank of Durango as a bank teller and later worked at City Market (North) for several years. Mindy studied at Fort Lewis College and graduated with a teaching degree.
Mindy was well known for being an amazing teacher. She began teaching second grade at Dolores Elementary in 1990 as a student teacher. Soon she began teaching her favorite grade, kindergarten. She taught kindergarten at Dolores Elementary for 13 years and 1 year at Manaugh Elementary in Cortez. After retiring from teaching, she was still a big part of the school. She was a substitute teacher for all grades, a reading tutor as an afterschool program, a booster club member, and sat on the Dolores school board. She was always helping students anytime or anywhere she could. What made her so special was that she thought of her students as extended family. Almost every year that she was a part of Dolores schools, she would draw a map to her house for Halloween. It made her happy when all her students trick-or-treated at her home, and they came for years after, high school students to adult parents with their children.
Mindy had so many things she loved doing. She would plant flowers around her beautiful back yard that she had designed. She also loved to go four wheeling and camping with the family. Not to mention the card and board games that were played in the camper. She loved to be with family, from traveling with Lizzy on long adventures to watching Colter play ball and going to the Bar-D with friends and family. She loved all her animals that came through her lifetime, especially when it came to Basset Hounds. Her biggest joy was to read to kids or anyone who would listen. The one book everyone would request her to read was “Piggy Pie.” She even read it to the whole elementary school for an assembly one year.
Surviving Mindy is her loving spouse, Rick Becher of Dolores, CO; her children, Colter Dunagan (Kari) of Rapid City, SD, and Lizzy Becher of Dolores, CO; her siblings, Melissa Sansoni (Ron) of Durango, CO, Heidi Thorsness (Dot), Peter Thorsness (Mary) of Laramie, WY, Martha Teal (Dusty) of Dolores, CO; and two grandchildren, Oskar and Oaklee Dunagan. Her mother, Marlene Thorsness of Durango, CO, passed away at the end of March. Mindy was preceded in death by father, John Thorsness.
Mindy will be deeply missed by her family and friends. A celebration of life will be held on May 14, 2022, from 1-4 p.m.. at the Dolores Community Center. In lieu of flowers an account is set up in her name at Dolores State Bank to receive donations for Shriner’s Hospital for Children.