Ethan Josef Thorpe
Ethan Josef Thorpe
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Gone too soon, Ethan Josef Thorpe, formerly of Rochester, passed away quietly at his home in Bozeman, Montana on August 23. Born December 13, 1985, Ethan was a witty, intelligent and fun-loving person much loved by his family and friends.

Ethan graduated from Century High School in 2004 and from St. Olaf College in 2008 with a BA in International Studies. He also attended Montana State University preparing for post-graduate studies. While at St. Olaf, he developed a passion for mountain biking and snow boarding, which subsequently led him to Bozeman, Montana with a group of college friends twelve years ago. There, he was employed at US Bank for five years, and then held a position in the business offices of Montana State University.

Ethan loved the outdoors, particularly mountain biking or hiking the trails and mountains around Bozeman. In the winter, he enjoyed snowboarding, snowshoeing and, true to his Norwegian heritage, cross-country skiing. Summer visits to the family cabin near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota marked Ethan's favorite week (or two) of the year spent with family, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Ethan had his grandfather's engineering and puzzle-solving brain, and designed and built his own specialized system for video games. He never met a Lego challenge that he couldn't meet. More than anything, he loved his beloved dog, Addie, whom he adopted eight years ago and was never far from his side.

Ethan was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents and cousins Terry and Alex Shiota. He is survived by his loving parents Erik and Eileen Thorpe of Rochester, Minnesota; sister Erin (Brendan) Venti of San Diego, California; twin brother Evan Thorpe (Karina Swanson and son Brody Swanson) of Kasson, Minnesota; uncle Odin (Connie) Thorpe of Waukesha, Wisconsin; uncle Michael (Jane) Murphy of Englewood, New Jersey; aunt Kathleen (Yoshinobu) Shiota of Owings Mills, Maryland; aunt Jennifer (Fred) Frankenfield of Sterling, Virginia, and eight cousins.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home, Rochester, Minnesota, will conduct an on-line service on Wednesday, September 2 at 2pm CDT. To view the service, go to the Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home Facebook Page, where it will be broadcast via Facebook Live.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Bozeman Health Foundation, a program very dear and important to Ethan. To donate, go to, click on "Online Donation" and reference Ethan Thorpe in the 'Honoree/Memorial Name" field. For questions, contact (406) 414-1085 or [email protected].

He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Thorpe family. To leave a special memory or condolence please visit


There are no events scheduled.

H Healing Registry on Sep 1, 2020

CandleSomeone has supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.

S Sean Boettcher on Oct 25, 2020

CandleI knew Ethan online, never had the pleasure of meeting him in person. I know I and all of our friends will miss him deeply. We shared years of memories together, memories that have brightened our days and will continue to do so forever. My sincerest condolences to the Thorpe family. I wish you well.

K Kathy Barrett on Sep 4, 2020

Hello to the Thope’s,
This is Kathy Barrett. I was Ethan’s teacher at Montessori at Franklin for a short time. I remember the boys from the Packer jersey era. I remember the support I felt from your family with moving here and starting the school. I’m still there. I loved seeing how well he spent his life. Love to all of you.

B Bruce Remme on Sep 3, 2020

Erik, My deepest sympathy for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and family. Bruce Remme

K Kris Howland on Sep 2, 2020

I only met Ethan a couple of times, but I found him to be such a kind and good young man - caring and compassionate. I am Dan Nemcek’s Godmother. Dan and Ethan were very dear friends. Our heartfelt sympathies. May you find peace and consolation in this most difficult time.

r ruthhoel on Sep 2, 2020

Erik, Eileen, Evan, I am greatly saddened to hear of the loss of Ethan. I can see by all the photos, that Ethan enjoyed many hobbies and activities. You all are in my thoughts and prayers for somehow finding some peace in remembering all the good times. your friend, Bob Hoel

R Richrd Ross on Sep 2, 2020

Erik and Eileen, Jennifer and I want to express our deepest condolences. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. (Richard and Jennifer Baker-Ross)

K Kelly Theuner on Sep 2, 2020

We are sorry for your loss, you are in our thoughts and prayers
Mark & Kelly Theuner

R Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home on Sep 2, 2020

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