November 16, 1922 - November 24, 2013
Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Thornton, 91, passed away peacefully on November 24, 2013 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born in Victoria, British Columbia on November 16, 1922 to William and Elsie (Mowat) Thornton. At the age of 5, his family moved from Canada to Chicago where he lived for 10 years before moving to Gilman, IL. During his sophomore year of high school he met his future wife Wilma Evelsizer. They were later married at the Gilman Methodist Church on November 27, 1947. After high school, he and his friend played minor league baseball for the Cincinnati Reds Farm Team in Escondido, CA. He then served in World War II in Europe for three years and was awarded four Battle Stars. Following the war, he continued to serve with the US Army Reserve for 25 years, and was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Service Medal in 1975. Simultaneously, he received Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Illinois. He enjoyed a career as teacher, coach, and guidance counselor for 30 years at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park. Upon retirement, he and Wilma moved to Watseka and then to Michigan to be closer to family. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother. At the time of death, he was survived by his wife Wilma and three daughters: Mary (Paul) Holliday of Portage MI, Joanne (John) Morehouse of Grand Haven MI, and Wendy (Jack) Laurent of Highlands Ranch CO; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Cremation has been accorded. A graveside memorial service (with military honors for Ken) will take place on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 11:00 am at the Gilman Cemetery for both Ken and Wilma.
Lt. Col. Kenneth J. Thornton, 91, passed away peacefully on November 24, 2013 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born in Victoria, British Columbia on November 16, 1922 to William and Elsie (Mowat) Thornton. At... View Obituary & Service Information
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