August 17, 2020

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The father of U.S. Sen. John Thune, a man he describes as his hero, has died at age 100.

Harold Thune, a World War II veteran, educator, and lifelong South Dakota resident, died Saturday, according to the senator.

The elder Thune grew up in Murdo, where his family worked in a hardware store business.

He played basketball at the University of Minnesota and earned most valuable player honors in 1942, the year he graduated and joined the Navy.

Following the war, Thune returned to Murdo. He began a teaching and coaching career in 1963.

Thune and his wife Pat, who died in 2012, had five children, including the senator.