Etzweiler Funeral Home
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York, PA 17403
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George W. Thornton

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George W. Thornton Obituary
YORK George Whiteley Thornton, 77, passed away Thursday, June 12, 1014, at his Box Hill home in York. He was the husband of Dianne (George), to whom he was married for nearly 53 years. Born August 11, 1936, he was the son of the late Henry Moser and Virginia Whiteley Thornton. In addition to his wife, he leaves a daughter, Sandra, and her son, David, of Chester County, and a son, William, his wife, Lisa (Smith); and their two daughters, Julia and Christina, of York. Surviving him also is his twin brother Henry M. Jr.; a sister, Virginia Craley; and brothers, Michael B. and John S. Thornton, all of York County; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. A fourth brother, William, died in childhood. A native of York, Mr. Thornton attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, graduated from The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and earned his B.A. degree in English from The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Additionally, he attended Harvard Business School. In 1961 he began his business career at Dentsply International, a company founded in part by his grandfather. In 1982 he was one of six officers to take Dentsply private. That same year he helped Dentsply defeat a hostile takeover attempt by implementing an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). At the time, this was one of the largest ESOPs on record. He retired from Dentsply as Senior Vice-president in 1984 to pursue other ventures, while remaining on Dentsply's Board of Directors for a time. Mr. Thornton was an active participant in many civic and charitable organizations over the years. Among those, he was involved in fundraising activities for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of York and Crispus Attucks. He also served as Director on several local Boards, including York's National Alliance of Businessmen, York Metro, York Regional Board of the Commonwealth National Bank, and the Pennsylvania Right to Work Defense and Education Foundation. Further, he earned the C. Everett Dirkson Employer of the Year Award for the Pennsylvanians Right to Work Organization. A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of York, 225 East Market Street, on Saturday, June 21st at 11 a.m. There will be a private burial at Prospect Hill Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Patient Help Fund, 25 Monument Road, Ste. 194, York, PA 17403; or Hospice and Comminity Care, 224 St. Charles Way, Ste. 200, York, PA 17403. Etzweiler Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 1111 E. Market St. York is in charge of arrangements.
Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on June 14, 2014
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