Doris M. Thornton

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  • "I love you, Doris. Norma Dean Gray Swetnam"
  • "I am so sorry to hear of Doris' passing. May God comfort..."
    - Kathy Remaley
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TUSCALOOSA Doris McSpadden Thornton, age 74, of Tuscaloosa, died Jan. 29, 2012, at Hospice of West Alabama. Services will be 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel with The Rev.Dr. Chris Denson of Forest Lake United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will follow in Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Joseph Thornton; parents, Oran and Bernice McSpadden of Batesville, Ark.; and sister-in-law, Liesel McSpadden of Heber Springs, Ark.

Survivors include her son, Stanley Charles Thornton (Nancy Starcher) of Madison, Ala.; daughter, Amelia Merrill Thornton of Tuscaloosa; granddaughter, Ariel Starcher Thornton of Madison, Ala.; sister, Kay Wilson (Jack) of Mountain Home, Ark.; brother, Carl McSpadden of Heber Springs, Ark.; sister-in-law, Betty Thornton Burke of Greenville, Miss.; aunts, Lurline Montague (Lewis) of Memphis, Tenn. and Reedie Harris of Hot Springs, Ark.; nieces, Julie and Karen McSpadden, Carla Wilson Walker and Christie Thomas; nephews, Matthew and Bruce Wilson and David Burke; special cousins, Jean Staggs of Jonesboro, Ark. and Margaret Jo Thornton Dill (Robert) of Pine Bluff, Ark.; and eight first cousins.

Doris was raised in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. She moved to Tuscaloosa in the 1960's when her husband went to work with the University of Alabama Athletic Department.

She was a graduate of the University of Alabama and had a Master's Degree from Arkansas State University. She was a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and was retired from the Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center. While employed she established the Geriatric Mental Health Nursing Home Program and facilitated the Alzheimer's Family Support Group. She also facilitated the Children Cope with Divorce Program, Perpetrators of Domestic Violence, and Alcohol & Drug Rehabilitation Program.

During her retirement years she volunteered with the Hospice of West Alabama Residential facility since its inception, Meals on Wheels, Friends of the Library, and Angel Food Ministries. She was an active member of Forest Lake United Methodist Church, did church related volunteer jobs, and served as president of the Genecians Sunday School Class.

Doris was an avid Crimson Tide basketball fan and was most proud of receiving the 1978-79 Fan of the Year award. She attended home games up until her death.

Mrs. Thornton often said the greatest joy of her life was being a grandmother to Ariel. She promoted the theory that “Grandma's are just Antique Little Girls.”

Honorary pallbearers are Betty and John Bostick, Barbara Broach, Annette and Jim Dudgeon, Beebe and Marvin McKinley, Lynn and Kirk McNair, Billie Jean Mitchell, Isabel and Jerry Oldshue, Anne Price, Lauranne (Mrs. Hayden) Riley, Martha and Tom Rogers, members of the Genecians Sunday School Class of Forest Lake United Methodist Church, ladies of the Bridge Club, Teresa Buck and Brandi Watkins, and the staff and volunteers of Hospice of West Alabama.

Memorials may be offered to Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Rd., Tuscaloosa, AL 35404; or Forest Lake United Methodist Church Building Fund, 1711 4TH Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.
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Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel - Tuscaloosa
5434 Old Birmingham Highway
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
(205) 553-3141
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Published in Tuscaloosa News on Jan. 31, 2012
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