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Gale ( gene )

Gale ( Gene ) Eugene Thornton

December 9, 2014

Gale Eugene Thornton(known as Gene) 93, passed away Tuesday, December 9,2014, at Hermitage Nursing Home in Elizabethton, Tennessee. He is survived by his two adopted daughters, Cathy Carey of Elizabethton, TN and Jenny Thornton of Chicago, IL. Gene Thornton grew up with his grandparents on a farm in Creston, IL and later met Laura Thornton and were married shortly after he was assigned to Alaska with the navy where he served for about four years during WWII. When returning home, he went into the auto body business in Rochelle, IL and later built his own auto body shop called Thornton's Body Shop which he at retirement sold his shop to his foreman, Jim Steder, whom he considered as his own son. In 1968, Gene and Laura adopted two little Compassion orphan girls, Lee Jung Won (Cathy) and Kim Jin Ha (Jenny). They raised them up in the Rochelle United Methodist Church where they were nurtured and loved by the body of Christ there. Gene served as a deacon for many years. He lived in the home they bought after returning from the service for 60 years till he moved to Tennessee at 91 years old. Gene was a life Member of Rochelle Moose Lodge 902 joining in 1948. He spent the last two years in Tennessee with his daughter, Cathy and her family until the end of his days. Gene was loved and respected by his friends, family, and business associates and his family will miss his great sense of humor and his devotion to the people in his life, especially his wife whom he kept his vow, to care for her in her own home till she passed away. He loved going fishing with his buddies, making his daily rounds of the Butterfly restaurant and Ace hardware and making toys for his grandchildren in his free time. Sleep in peace, dad. Visitation and funeral service will be held December 20, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m. till time of service at 10:30 a.m. This will be held at the Beverage Lyons Family Funeral Home 704 N. 6th St. Rochelle. IL. 815-562-6872. Interment to follow at Ashton Cemetery. www.beveragelyonsfamilyfh.com
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