Obituary for Thorlief Hawkfell Asgardson - Humboldt State Now

Obituary for Thorlief Hawkfell Asgardson

_The following obituary was provided by the family of Thor H. Asgardson._ Thor H. Asgardson passed away on Jan. 2, 2017, at the age of 65. He will be remembered for his inexhaustible generosity, kindnesses, and loving, gentle personality. He will be GREATLY missed, and he was loved by many.

Thorlief Hawkfell Asgardson

Thor was born in Phoenix, Ariz., November 25, 1951, to Ernest and Gaye Zeno, and moved to San Diego shortly thereafter with his siblings, Stephanie and Greg. He attended Grant Elementary in Mission Hills; around this time he began collecting rare stamps, coins, artifacts, ancient pottery, arrowheads, saltwater pearls, abalone, and other paraphernalia, which blossomed into an extensive hobby as he grew older. Thor also sang as a choirboy with his Congregationalist church as a young adolescent. He next attended Roosevelt Jr. High, and finally San Dieguito High School, where his father Ernie was head coach and history teacher. Although Thor participated in school sports, even as a junior varsity quarterback he was inclined more towards extracurricular athletics, and was an accomplished archer, swimmer, and surfer, which he learned after a move to live with his dad and stepmother, Joan. He spent many summers at Moonlight and Cardiff beaches as a young teenager, where he practiced surfing on a long board, during his high school years.

Eventually, Thor’s interests led to all fields of art, which he followed up with his skills as an art major at Palomar College in San Marcos. He demonstrated great craftsmanship at ceramics (mostly on the wheel), and mastery of drawing, under the tutelage of the renowned Frank Jones. He also took up painting, which he pursued into adulthood, using oils and favoring the old masters and landscapes. Thor later took to random camping trips to Big Sur and even further north to Trinidad, which led to his interest in studying at Humboldt State University; it was here that he earned a B.A. in Fine Art, with a minor in American Indian Studies, and would use his background to later teach some secondary education classes. He lived in various locations in North San Diego County from time to time, but kept wandering north, and never lost his love of the redwood trees and Northern California.

Thor began making his own jewelry, using natural materials discovered while beach combing a variety of well-known beaches in Northern California, especially Trinidad, where he re-established a high school friendship with a longtime and current resident Bill Snell. He later obtained a retail license to buy and sell jewelry, and worked with a vendor on Cedros Blvd., an arts street in Solana Beach, and with another jewelry dealer, Tony, in Spanish Village, San Diego. As partners, Tony and Thor traveled to Mexico City, and many historical sites to visit other ancient monuments and pyramids, and in order to find the best pieces for their jewelry market.

Additionally, Thor later earned an AA in Nursing from Palomar College, and practiced as a nurse at UCSD Hospital in Mission Hills and at Mercy Hospital, Hillcrest, both in San Diego for seven-plus years. He had held various jobs as well, including as a prep-cook at the famous entertainment venue Belly-Up Tavern, as a clerk at a Washington State resort, as a florist in Thousand Oaks and Oceanside, Calif., and as a UCSD bookstore cashier, where he met his significant other, Polly Kendrick in 2008.

Thor and Polly, through a series of adventures and misadventures, began a long relationship that lasted nine years. During this period, Thor was quite active going to gem shows, and making unique shell boxes, which he highly valued and sold, yet generously gave to family and friends. He consistently blogged and tweeted about his conservative views as a political activist, and visited several historical and amusement sites of San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, including his beloved Trinidad, which he shared on a trip with Polly. He developed his appreciation of Viking Lore, which led to his collecting artifacts of Norse and other Viking origins. He was proud to have been able to visit Comic-Con during summer of 2016, where he was in audience of the Vikings show cast, and shook hands with Kathryn Winnick, (Lagaertha), a major character. He was always present at family gatherings over the holidays, and celebrated his 65th birthday November 25, 2016, amid joyful celebration!

While living in Carlsbad, and later in Pacific Beach, Calif., Thor contracted heart disease in 2010, and his health declined from that point. After a series of stents and an ICD were implanted, his damaged-but big heart-finally gave out on January 2, 2017, at 65 years of age. Thor will be remembered for his inexhaustible generosity, kindness, and loving, gentle personality. He will be GREATLY missed, and he was loved by many.

Any alumni who remember Thor who would like a Memorial Booklet are asked to please contact Polly Kendrick at:, or 760-583-8185.
Cards or comments are welcome to be sent to: 1924 Lahoud Drive, Cardiff, CA 92007.