Wilbur Eugene Thornton, "TD" beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend and a member of "The Greatest Generation", died October 16, 2012 at the age of 91. TD was born on July 6, 1921, the youngest of the five brothers and two sisters. He grew up in the East End of Houston during the Great Depression. In early 1942, at the age of 20, he answered his country's call and proudly served in the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe for the following four years. Sgt. Wilbur Thornton entered Normandy in the D-Day invasion and fought in five major battles earning the European Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars. On April 29, 1945, he, with the 92nd Signal Battalion of the U.S. Army Infantry Division entered the Dachau Concentration Camp outside Munich, Germany to liberate the 32,000 prisoners held there. Their liberation of Dachau is memorialized in the book "Where the Birds Never Sing". After his Honorable Discharge from the Army, TD married the love of his life, Norma, to whom he was married for 65 years. Returning to Houston in 1946 following the war, he began a painting contracting business where he worked until his retirement. He was the manager of the Little League Champion "Engineers" and the President of the Freeway National Little League of Houston. He also coached the almost champion Park Place "Fighting Sun Perches" to a church baseball league crown. He was the proud proprietor of Green Hill Farm in Brenham where he enjoyed his family, friends and passion for hard work, tractor riding and domino playing. Formerly a member of the Park Place Assembly of God Church where he was a Trustee and a Deacon, he was a member of the Christian Temple Assembly of God at the time of his death. TD is survived by his loving wife, Norma Thornton, his son, David Thornton and daughter-in-law, Sherrie Thornton; daughter, Linda Bloomer and son-in-law, Myron Bloomer; daughter, Cathy Foley and son-in-law, Al Foley; grandchildren, Jenny, Samantha, Rebecca, Steven and Kacey; great-grandson, Jackson; sister-in-law, Connie Reece, numerous nieces and nephews, a multitude of lifelong friends and a country appreciative of his faithful service in defense of their freedom. Funeral services will be held at South Park Funeral Home, 1310 North Main St., Pearland, Texas on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 12:30 p.m.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 19, 2012