He was 89.
Thornton was born in Morrow, Ohio on July 4, 1922 and graduated from Ohio State University in 1944 with a B.S. degree in pharmacy. He entered the U.S. Navy in May 1944 and served in the pharmacy at Oakland Naval Hospital until being honorably discharged in May 1946.
He married Zoe E. Henkle, a Navy nurse, in February 1946. They lived in Madeira, Ohio for 26 years. He was a practicing pharmacist his entire life, owning his own pharmacy, Thornton Apothecary, in Oakley, Ohio. He also served on the Madeira City Council for 14 years.
In 1972, he sold his pharmacy and moved to Tucson, Ariz., where he worked in the Tucson Clinic Pharmacy. He and his family moved to San Diego in 1976. He obtained his California pharmacy license and worked as a relief pharmacist at numerous pharmacies throughout the San Diego area. He finally retired in January 2010 at the age of 88. Several years earlier, he had been written up in the magazine California Pharmacist as the oldest pharmacist still practicing in the state.
He was active in the Ocean Beach community and was a member of the Point Loma United Methodist Church since 1977.
He served on the boards of Loaves & Fishes and Peninsula Shepard Senior Center (PSSC) for many years, including a stint as president of PSSC. He belonged to the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Beach and served as its president in 1979.
He had earlier belonged to a Kiwanis Club in Ohio, and in 2011 he was honored by Kiwanis International as a 53-year member.
He was a life member of the OSU Alumni Association and the American Legion. He was an avid golfer who kept playing well into his 80s and was a member of the Torrey Pines Men’s Club.
He was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Zoe, in 1992, and also predeceased by his companion of 14 years, Lavilla (“Billie”) Hodge, in 2011. He is survived by his daughter, Jill T. Blatchley of San Diego and his sister, Mary Brunen, of New Jersey.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. at Point Loma United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Point Loma United Methodist Church or Sharp HospiceCare.