Sarah J. Thorsen, 37 of Verona,  Wis., died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012, in her home. Born Aug. 3, 1975, in Rockford, the daughter of Gary and Becky (Aplington) Thorsen. Attended Rockford Christian for nine years, graduated from Boylan Catholic High School class of 1994 and received her BS in Sociology from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1998.  Sarah worked for Rosecrance in Rockford, before moving to Madison, Wis. to begin her career with TDS MetroCom, working 8 years in customer service.  She is a former member of Holy Family Catholic Church and was a member of the choir as well as her high school and college choirs.

   Sarah loved her family, her cat “Wrigley,” the Chicago Cubs and Bon Jovi concerts. Dancing, laughing and planning trips were important. She embraced her many challenges with courage and strength, and lived beyond her limitations with a strong sense of independence. She was dearly loved by her family and friends, who were very special to her and whose company she cherished. Her special quality was her ability to make others feel loved and special.

The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Sarah’s doctors and nurses over the years, who include; Dr. McLone at Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago; Dr. Iskandar and his nurse, Catie O’Connell, Dr. Josh Medow and the Neuro ICU nurses at UW Madison and her Home Instead care team, especially Mary and Bobbie.  

Survivors include her parents, Gary and Becky Thorsen; brothers, Ben and Luke Thorsen; paternal grandmother, Lillian Thorsen; aunt, Jan Riedel; uncle, Allan Thorsen; uncle, Jim Broedlow; aunt, Joanna Haney; aunt, Christine (Joel) Franks; uncle, Bill (Susan) Aplington and many cousins. Preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Harold Thorsen; maternal grandparents, James and Mary Jane Aplington; aunt, Nancy Broedlow; uncle, Glenn Riedel and cousin, Ryan Aplington.

Visitation was held Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Rd., 815-226-2273. Visitation on Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. at Holy Family Church, 4401 Highcrest Rd., 815-398-4280.  Mass of the Resurrection at 2 p.m.   In lieu of flowers, memorials to: Children’s Memorial Hospital, 2300 North Children’s Plaza Chicago, IL 60614 or Spina Bifida Association of Illinois, 8765 W. Higgins Road #403, Chicago, IL 60631.