December 15, 1941 – July 27, 2020
Russel J. Thomsen ’68 was born Dec. 15, 1941, and passed away July 27, 2020, in Silverdale, Washington. He graduated from Walla Walla University in 1964, and in 1968, he received his medical degree and MA in Religion from Loma Linda University. He completed his internship at Latter-day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah. He went on to serve in the United States Army Medical Corps for 27 years in such varied places as Fort Ord, California; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Frankfurt, Germany; Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and Vicenza, Italy. For three of those years, he worked for the United States Agency for International Development in the area of women’s health and family planning, which took him to 50 countries. He retired in 1994 as a colonel with the distinction of safely delivering 4,000 babies. His patients truly appreciated his professional, yet caring manner.
In 1973 he was called to testify before a congressional subcommittee concerning the failure of the FDA to regulate the testing and marketing of intrauterine devices. Following his testimony, Dr. Thomsen started collecting IUDs, which developed into the Russel J. Thomsen Contraceptive Collection, now housed in the libraries of LLU.
Dr. Thomsen had many interests: a great love for the outdoors, construction, and competitive tennis. Always creative, he developed a product called “Babydater,” an artistic folder for recording events from conception to delivery and into the baby’s first year. A gifted writer, he authored several published books.
In his earlier years, Dr. Thomsen enjoyed being involved in his church, leading in various capacities including the robust singing of hymns, directing Pathfinder clubs, and coaching church school basketball teams. He especially enjoyed shooting baskets and playing tennis with his sons.
Dr. Thomsen is survived by his wife, Tina; brother, Duane; twin sister, Barbara; sons, Randy and Greg; and three grandchildren.
(Source: Family of Dr. Thomsen)