August 28, 2021, 85, Goldsboro –
Marion Wendell Thornton, 85, of Goldsboro, NC left his earthly home peacefully on Saturday, August 28, 2021 with his family by his side. Wendell was born on May 25, 1936 in Newton Grove, NC to Rossie and Pearl Thornton. He was the fifth of eight children. Wendell attended Atlantic Christian College, then served his country in the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. He moved to Goldsboro in 1959 to open Security Storage Company, agent for Mayflower. He retired in 2009 after fifty years in business.
Wendell was a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Goldsboro, where he served on numerous committees. In addition to being a devoted and loving husband, father, and Pops, Wendell leaves a legacy of being a devout Christian who was very giving to his family, friends, community and church, He received numerous recognitions for his extra efforts in business affairs and civic responsibilities. Among those was the Long Leaf Pine awarded by Governor Hunt and being named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation. His service included chairman of the Mayflower Warehouse Association, board member of Branch Bank and Trust, chairman of Goldsboro’s Committee of 100, president of North Carolina Movers, Military Affairs Committee, Goldsboro Planning Board, Goldsboro Jaycees and Goldsboro Shrine Club.
Though Wendell was a respected and successful businessman and entrepreneur, his happy place was the Thornton Family Farm in Newton Grove. He took pride and joy in sustaining the farm for his family and friends’ enjoyment. Many hours of his time on the farm were spent teaching his children and grandchildren the value of hard work, to always have fun and treating others kindly.
Preceding him in death were his parents, his brothers; Cecil Thornton (Hazel), Richard Thornton (Mary John), and his sisters; Marie T. Hill (Ethro), Jean T. Johnson, Carolyn T. Stone and brother-in-law Marshall A, Warren.
Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife and best friend of 55 years; Linda West Thornton, son; Wesley D. Thornton (Carol) of Goldsboro, daughters; Wendy Thornton of Raleigh, Gina Thornton of Goldsboro and Paige T. Lieske (Kent) of Oak Ridge, NC and nine grandchildren; Logan, Chace, Sterling, Brennen, Sydney, Braden, Hunter, Eden and Gabriella, brother; Kenneth Thornton (Linda Joie) of McLean, VA, sister; Sue T. Warren of Fayetteville, brother-in-law; Art C Stone of Raleigh and numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, and cousins.
The family will receive friends on Friday, September 3, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church, 125 S. John Street, Goldsboro. A service to celebrate Wendell’s life will follow the visitation at 11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary with Rev. Glenn Phillips officiating. Wendell will be laid to rest, at the beloved family farm, Thornton Family Cemetery, 220 Emmet Thornton Road, Newton Grove, NC 28366, on Friday, September 3, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to wear a face-covering and practice social distancing when attending the services.
Flowers are welcome or memorial gifts may be given in his memory to the Youth and Children Ministries or to the Early Worship Music Ministry at First Baptist Church, 125 S. John Street, Goldsboro, NC 27534.
We would like to give a very special thank you to the wonderful staff at 3HC for the love and care they provided for Wendell during his final days. Simple words cannot express our gratitude.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.