Margaret “Tinkum” Thornton

Margaret “Tinkum” Thornton

December 31, 2022, 83, Seven Springs –

Margaret “Tinkum” Thornton passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in Wilmington, NC on December 31, 2022. Her New Year rang in with a welcome home from her Lord and Savior and all of her family she has missed. She was born on March 5, 1939, to the late Clarence Barber and Lillian Viola Barber. Tinkum was married to Ernie Thornton for 62 years and 3 days. Her laughter, gleaming smile, infectious energy, and loving presence are already missed.

Tinkum grew up in Seven Springs as one of the Barber sisters. They were quite the group, known and loved by everyone. She met the love of her life, Ernie, and they settled around her homeplace. Tinkum and Ernie were perfect together. Their love for each other and for their community was evident. She was protective of Ernie and her family. No one would mess on them with her around.

Tinkum and Ernie’s home was filled with love and music. Their family had a musical gift and they shared this gift with their church, Garris Chapel. Guy on the piano and Tammy, Tinkum, and Ernie singing along made for a joyful time. Tinkum made sure music was an important part of worship. If she heard someone in the congregation singing and knew they had a gift, she had a persuasive way of making sure those gifts would be used in the church choir. It was best to just agree and sing. She was the unofficial church choir recruiter and she did it so well.

Tinkum was an avid fisherman. She had a knack for being able to catch almost any fish. And her competitive spirit would take over when she fished. She would not be outdone. Many special conversations were had holding a fishing pole. Her grandchildren learned to fish from their Maw Maw. That meant they were taught by the best.

The most beautiful legacy left by Tinkum is her love. She loved deeply and with all her heart. Tinkum never met a stranger and this love was evident from the first moment you met her. She took the time to listen and care. Her husband, her children, and her grandchildren were her joy. This includes her son-in-law, Bill and daughter-in-law, Michele. They were not in-laws in her mind. They were her children and she loved them just the same.

A Service of Remembrance will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at 6 pm, at Garris Chapel Church, La Grange. The family will receive visitors in the Family Life Center of the church from 4 pm – 6 pm prior to the service. A committal service will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2023, at 10 am, at Fairview Cemetery, La Grange.

Tinkum is survived by her husband, Ernie Thornton; children, Tammy Thornton Simon (Bill) and Guy Thornton (Michele); grandchildren, Steven Talton Simon, Wilson Gabriel Simon, Hannah Nichole Thornton, and Lillian Grace Thornton; a brother-in-law, Sylvan Hardy; and many loved cousins, nieces, and nephews. In addition to her parents, Tinkum was preceded in death by her sisters, Hilda Hardy, Rachel Herring, Sue Raynor, and Joan Barber.

Contributions in memory of Tinkum may be made to
Garris Chapel Church
823 Piney Grove Rd.
La Grange, NC 28551

Online condolences can be made at

Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange, NC.