Cleon Thomton (1920 - 2013)

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Cleon C. Thomton

Cleon C. Thomton, 93, passed away after a brief illness on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 with his family at his side.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 24 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church Chapel in Sioux Falls.

Cleon was born in Montevideo, MN, on February 11, 1920 to Emil and Julia (Lund) Thomton. He graduated from Montevideo High school and joined the National Guard. When the Minnesota Guard was federalized he was shipped to England in 1942. It was there that he met his future wife, Violet M. Thoroughgood. She was serving in the Women's Land Army to support the war effort. Prior to leaving the United States with an infantry unit he had applied to the Army Air Corps. His orders finally caught up to him while training in Ireland. He was sent back to the states for his flight training and returned to England in 1944 as a pilot in the 56th fighter group flying the P47 Thunderbolt. He flew 74 missions over Europe with the outstanding unit known as Zemke Wolfpack. When he returned to the states he and Violet were married in Montevideo on July 12, 1946. As a young man he enjoyed hunting with his Chesapeake retriever, Pepper and fishing. In midlife he developed a love for golf which he enjoyed with his wife throughout their retirement from the LP Gas industry in Minnesota and North Dakota, becoming a district manager for Solar Gas Company until his retirement in 1982.

They had two children, Sandra Ann (Richard) Garnas, Sioux Falls, Curtis Lee (Karen) Thomton, Pelican Lake, MN; 2 grandchildren, Derek, Sioux Falls, and Cassandra Garnas (Dale) Nicholson, Little Rock, Arkansas; 2 great grandchildren of Little Rock, Natalee Ann and L.D. Nicholson.

He was preceded in death by his son Curtis, his wife Violet, his parents, his sister, Eldora Tusberg and a brother, Norton.

Committal services will begin at 1:00 pm Saturday at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Montevideo, with full military honors. Heritage Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Our Saviors Lutheran Church Building Fund in Sioux Falls. www.heritagesfsd.com.

Published in The Argus Leader on May 23, 2013
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