Gerald Edward Thornton, Sr. was born April 23, 1927 in Post Oak, Texas to Albert Henry and Mary Keys Thornton. He passed away November 28, 2016 in Jacksonville, Texas.
Gerald was the youngest of seven children and was preceded in death by his parents and siblings; his sons, Gerald, Jr. and Gary; and his grandson, Jeremy Wayne Thornton.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Hazel Stinnett Thornton of Jacksonville, TX; daughter, Vicki Thornton Bentley of Sugarland, TX; daughter-in-law, Joanie Satterwhite Thornton of Corpus Christi and Longview, TX; sister-in-law, Virginia (Dick) Ware of Dallas, TX; granddaughters, Jennifer Sampson and Dempsey Thornton; grandsons, Matthew (Natalie) Tyler and Schuyler Thornton; great-granddaughters, Mariah and Scarlett Sampson; great-grandsons, Evan Sampson and August Tyler; and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.
Gerald grew up in Crossroads and Post Oak, TX and graduated from Crossroads High School and enlisted in the United States Navy after graduation. After serving four years in the Navy, he attended Henderson County Junior College and graduated from Stephen F. Austin University where he played football. In 1952, he went to work for United Gas Company in Beaumont, TX and retired from the same company (now known as CenterPoint Energy) as a division sales manager 36 years later after working and living in Houston, Longview, Center, Mineola and Jacksonville.
He had a passion for the game of golf and in his later life shot a golf score equal to or below his age several times. He was an avid reader and loved books from a very early age. Gerald and Hazel enjoyed traveling before and after his retirement.
Gerald was a Christian and a member of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville since 1992 where he attended the Goodfellows Sunday School class. He was a past president of the Lions Club in Longview.
Gerald loved his family dearly and was loved by them in return. We are comforted knowing that he has gone to join his Savior and those who passed before him.
Visitation will begin on Friday, December 2, 2016 and friends are cordially invited to visit with Gerald's family from 1:30 to 2 p.m.
A memorial service will be held at 2 o'clock in the afternoon Friday, December 2, at Autry Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville with Rev. Steve Edwards officiating.
Rather than customary condolences, memorials can be made to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org, Central Baptist Church 1909 E. Rusk St., Jacksonville, Texas 75766 or a charity of your choice.
Published on November 30, 2016