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1923 Wilma 2021

Wilma B. Thornton

March 24, 1923 — April 21, 2021

Wilma B. Thornton, 98, passed away peacefully on April 21, 2021 in her room at the Upjohn Care Retirement Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

She was born March 24, 1923 to Carl and Mary (Hexamer) Evelsizer in Congerville, IL and soon after the family moved to Gilman, IL where she lived throughout high school. After graduation in 1941, she moved to Chicago and worked in company banking in order to save for nursing school. She received her RN degree in 1947 from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing and married Kenneth Thornton that same Fall. Wilma and Ken met in high school and stayed in touch writing letters until Ken returned to the states after the war.

Wilma practiced med-surg nursing at Champaign and Milwaukee hospitals for several years. After raising her family, she returned to work in the suburban Chicago school system health department in Lombard until retiring in 1984. She and Ken moved to Watseka, IL and then to Michigan to be closer to family.

Throughout her life she was an active church volunteer, continued to be an avid letter writer, enjoyed both high school and nursing alumnae class reunions, played pinochle, crafted beautiful needlepoint projects, and baked delicious cookies. Her family was her life and her family is her legacy.

She is preceded in death by her husband Ken, her parents, two brothers, and two sisters. She is survived by 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; four great-grandchildren, and one sister.

Cremation has been accorded. A graveside memorial service to remember both Wilma and Ken will take place on Saturday, June 19th at 11:00 am at the Gilman Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan (
To send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma B. Thornton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)

Gilman Cemetery

, Gilman, IL 60938

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