Thomas J. THORNTON (1945 - 2018)

4 entries
  • "Kathy and Tom's children and grandchildren, Our sympathy..."
    - Arnold and Judith
  • "Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace."
  • "Tom was a special man with so many fascinating interests..."
    - Sheila Carson (Tibbitts)
  • "Hi Tom, Don Cunningham here. We first met back when you..."
    - Don Cunningham
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Tom was born on March 23, 1945 in Boston, MA and moved to New York shortly afterwards. Tom grew up mainly in Queens, NY. Having a single mother who worked long hours, he and his siblings spent much of their growing up years with their maternal grand-parents, aunts and uncles. From a young age, Tom was a worker. First as a paperboy, then as a drug store delivery boy and finally as an usher at Radio City Music Hall.
Days before his 18th birthday, Tom joined the United States Air Force. He would see two tours in Vietnam and was stationed throughout the country including four years at Hickam Air Force base in Honolulu, Hawaii. He retired in 1985 out of Fairchild Air Force Base as MSgt.
Although Tom was a natural born entrepreneur and had several businesses following his retirement, longest and most notable was Northwest Blind Company in Spokane, he always regretted not staying longer in the Air Force. He truly loved serving his country and the comradery of his fellow soldiers.
Tom's first wife and mother of his children, Carol, passed away in 2001. In 2009, Tom married Cathy whom he met at St. Marks Lutheran Church. Tom is survived by his wife, Cathy, his two children: Kelli Kugler (Roger) Spokane and Michael Thornton (Lisa) Issaquah; five grandchildren: Michael Kugler (Kat), Nicole Whichelow (Alex), Danielle Kugler, Trey Thornton and Mitchell Thornton; three great-grandchildren: Avery Whichelow (5), Alexander Whichelow (1) and Jaxson Kugler-Parker (5). Tom is also survived by five siblings: Bob Johnson, Long Island, NY; Patricia (Pat) Johnson (Bob), Sparks, NV; Helen Hassell (Terry), Bradenton, FL; Joan Brown, Winooski, VT; Anthony Colovechio (Julia), Spokane, WA.
Tom was a remarkable self-made man, never knowing his own father; he truly made a life he could be proud of striving to be successful and have fun with life each day. For Tom, there was always time to stop whatever you were doing and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cookie! He had a way about him that people gravitated to along with a contagious laugh and quick wit. He loved a good joke.
Tom passed away peacefully on September 1, 2018, with his wife and children at his side. The family would like to thank Sacred Heart ER for finally providing answers in Tom's diagnosis to help us all understand how to better help, Cornerstone Court Memory Care whose staff took Tom in and provided heartfelt, dignified care from June 22 until Tom's passing and to Hospice of Spokane who so gracefully helped the family with every detail imaginable until Tom's passing. Heartfelt thanks to friends, family and our St. Marks family for keeping Tom close in their thoughts and prayers to the end.
There will be a Celebration of Life memorial service on Friday, September 21st at 11:00am at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th Ave., Spokane, lunch to follow service.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in Tom's memory may be sent to: Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210-2215; St. Marks Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th Ave., Spokane, WA 99203 or , 1403 S. Grand Blvd, #202S, Spokane, WA 99203.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Sept. 12 to Sept. 16, 2018
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