Margene Petersen Thurston

Margene Petersen Thurston, 92, longtime Rogue Valley businesswoman and supporter of the Arts and Music, died Thursday, June 18, 2009. She and her husband, Harold, were owners of Medford's Thurston School of Dancing and Thurston Kindergarten from 1956-1985. Margene taught tap and ballet to scores of students, some of whom found careers with the Laurence Welk Show, the San Francisco Ballet Company, and the Utah Ballet Company, among others. Voted in high school to be the Outstanding High School Vocalist of the state of Utah, Margene also held leading vocal roles in many muicals. As young college students, Harold and Margene met as musical performers in the Bryce Canyon summer shows, where Margene performed as a vocalist, and Harold, as tap dancer. Margene began a career as a church organist in Utah when she was just nine years of age and later served as organist in the Medford and Ashland LDS wards. Throughout the years, she provided piano accompaniment for many musical artists. Locally, Margene choreographed dance routines for Miss America pageants, Shakespearean Theatre performances, and for musicals in the local schools. Survivors include Dr. Louis Thurston, of Kingsville, Tex., Brian Thurston of Carmichael, Calif., Scott Thurston, of Los Angeles, Calif., Sandra Hurley, of Medford, Ore., five granddaughters, and three great-grandchildren, all of whom are especially grateful for the wonderful end of life care provided by Dr. Hecox and by the caring staff of KC Family Adult Care. A memorial reception will be held in her honor at the Sun Oaks lower clubhouse (off Black Oak) on Monday, June 29, 2009, between 4:30-6:30 p.m. All friends and family are invited to attend.