Former Local 959 President and Fairbanks business manager Robert Leland Thornton, passed away Monday, June 24, 2013, at his home in Mesquite, Nev. He was born Aug. 21, 1942, in Texas, to Orville Thornton and Pauline Freeman. He married Carleena Kline on Dec. 7, 1989, in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Robert graduated from high school in West Covina and earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Southern California. Robert first began working as a teamster for Sealand Freight in July 1973. He continued working as a teamster for Mukluk Freight Lines, eventually accepting a position as business representative for Local 959 in Nov. 1980. Bob retired as president and Fairbanks business manager of Local 959 on Jan. 1, 2003.
Secretary Treasurer Rick Boyles stated, "Bob was a great friend and mentor to our staff and members around the state. He was a man of few words but when he did speak, you heard him loud and clear and so did the employers he dealt with. He will be greatly missed."
He is survived by his wife, Carleena Thornton, of Mesquite, Nev.; his daughters, Raegan Thornton Rush and Tara Bowman, both of Anchorage, and Nina Kline, of Fairbanks; and grandchildren, Cache Rush and Riley Kincaid, both of Anchorage.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Virgin Valley Mortuary at 320 E. Old Mill Rd., Mesquite, Nevada 89027. The family invites you to share a memory or message with them on our guestbook at www.virginvalleymortuary.com.
A celebration of life will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 20, 2013, at Teamsters Local 959, 751 Old Richardson Hwy., in Fairbanks.