BELLEFONTAINE -- Gerald Dean Thornton, 78, of Bellefontaine, passed away at 1:27 p.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio. He was born on October 3, 1942, in DeGraff, a son of the late Emory and Carolyn (Easton) Thornton.
On December 24, 1961, Jerry married the former Linda Kay Weeks in DeGraff, and she survives, along with their two sons, David (Leann) Thornton and Dan (Lisa) Thornton; 7 grandchildren, Ashley Thornton, Tiffany Thornton, Danielle (Dave Dickinson) Thornton, Magen Rich, Justin Renfroe, Lauren (Cory) Reese, and Bryan (Ashley King) Newland; 7 great grandchildren, Corbin Jones, Tressa Jones, Jace Dean Jones, Kaylee Dickinson, Marcus Browner, A'mya Thornton, and Hudson Reese; a sister, Rita Helmandollar; a brother, Bill (Becky) Thornton; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. In addition to his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by his great grandson, Coltin Jones; a brother, Emerson Thornton, and a brother-in-law, Butch Helmandollar.
Jerry started working at the DeGraff Sinclair Gas Station at the age of fifteen, worked at Airstream for 15 years, and later worked construction with Butch Helmandollar. He started working at Honda as a production associate and spent the next 26 years working as a coordinator, production manager, assistant manager, and retired in 2006 as a senior staff engineer. Jerry enjoyed working with all his employees at Honda. During his tenure at Honda, he had the pleasure of living in Japan, with his wife, working in 1993 and 1994.
Jerry enjoyed owning and attending classic car shows. He won many awards with his multiple classic cars.
After retirement, he and his wife enjoyed traveling and spending winters at their home in Tavares, Florida.
Jerry always put his family first and loved them immensely. He spent time with his sons as a Boy Scout leader. Jerry was a giving person and made sure his family had everything they needed or wanted. He enjoyed spending time with his many friends in Ohio and in Florida.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at the Daring & Sanford Funeral Home, 210 W. Hayes Street in DeGraff. Pastor Ben Moore will officiate a funeral service at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 20, 2021, at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Greenwood-Union Cemetery in DeGraff, Ohio.
Memorial contributions may be made, in Jerry's memory, to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105.
DARING & SANFORD FUNERAL HOME, DEGRAFF is honored to serve the Thornton family and encourages anyone to share a fond memory or message of condolence at www.edsfh.com.