James L. Thornton

Published 9:50 am Tuesday, March 15, 2022

James L. Thornton
Zelienople, Pennsylvania

James L. Thornton, age 83, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, formerly of Mobile, passed away Thursday, March 3, while under the care of Good Samaritan Hospice at Heritage Valley, Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Born March 12, 1938 in Toledo, Ohio, he was the son of the late George J. Thornton and Lucille M. Kirchner Thornton.

Jim leaves behind to cherish his memory his beloved wife of 61 years, Joyce M. Oliver Thornton, whom he married on June 25, 1960; his three children, Kim (Robert) McClure of Cranberry Twp., Pennsylvania, Scott (Sharon) Thornton of Toledo, Ohio, and Douglas (Wendy) Thornton of Greenwood, Indiana; his grandchildren, Lindsay (McClure) and Clayton Hellman, Bobby and Kristin (Beardsley) McClure, Austin McClure, Jacob Thornton, Rachel Thornton, Kathy (Lipovsky) and Jeff Greeno, and Bob and Sandi (Evans) Lipovsky; his great-grandchildren, Logan Hellman, Briana and Kayleigh McClure, Rowan Collins, Brody Greeno, and Kayla, Abigail and McKinley Lipovsky; his sister, Marcia (Thornton) Bradley; his sister-in-law, Ruth (Oliver) and Dave Lump; and his brother-in-law, John (Skeeter) Oliver and Norma McDowell.

He loved God, his family, golf, football and all sports in that order! He always put the needs of family over any personal wants. He provided for private Catholic education for all 3 children. He was an avid Ohio State, Alabama, University of Toledo and of course Pittsburgh Steelers fan!

Jim started working in the mailroom for Continental Aviation & Engineering (which then became Teledyne CAE) where they made Harpoon missile engines. He worked his way up into the engineering department and then became a financial analyst. He traveled extensively across the U.S. with his career. He retired and then they asked him to come back.

Jim was always about serving others. He often became involved with helping organizations to become more efficient. He sat on Church Councils, Resident Councils (often as the President) and was frequently Chairman of the Finance Committee. He served in the Citizens Observer Patrol in Chelsea, where he received the distinguished Shelby County Sheriff’s Award. Most recently he served on the Auxiliary Executive Board at Passavant Community in Zelienople, Pennsylvania.

Jim and Joyce were married almost 62 years. They renewed their wedding vows in his hospital room the day before he entered Good Samaritan Hospice in Beaver.

He taught us so many things including work ethic, positivity and kindness. We were privileged to witness what a great marriage was all about through his dedication to Joyce. He fought like a champion warrior since he was diagnosed with renal failure in September 2020. A few of the things we will always remember him saying: “Anything worth doing is doing well” and “If you don’t have something wonderful to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

Jim had a beautiful baritone voice and could be found singing in the church choir. He also sang in a Barbershop Chorus and a Barbershop Quartet when they lived in Toledo, Ohio.

Jim and Joyce lived in Toledo, Ohio, Mobile, Chelsea, and Vestavia Hills, before moving in December 2020 to Zelienople, Pennsylvania, for health reasons.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 1 at St. Gregory Catholic Church, 2 W. Beaver St., Zelienople, Pennsylvania 16063.

Jim will be laid to rest at the Zelienople Community Mausoleum columbarium.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Boylan Funeral Home, Inc., 324 E. Grandview Ave., Zelienople, Pennsylvania 16063.

We would ask that any memorial donations be made in Jim’s name to the National Kidney Foundation (www.kidney.org) or Good Samaritan Hospice at Heritage Valley (www.heritagevalley.org/pages/hospice-care).

Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at Boylanfuneralservices.com.