WI Thornton, Jr., MD, beloved husband and father, died peacefully at home Thursday morning, November 3, 2011. The son of WI Thornton, Sr., and Mary Neal Thornton, WI was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee on June 25, 1924. After graduating from Dyersburg High School in 1942, WI boarded a train bound for Knoxville to begin college at The University of Tennessee with the intention of becoming an engineer. With the nation already at war, however, his freshman year was cut short when he was drafted to serve in the Army in World War II. Coming home after the war, he found his true calling and changed his major to pre-med. While at college, he enjoyed fraternity life as a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. After college, he attended medical school at The University of Tennessee in Memphis. Fresh from residencies in Knoxville and New Orleans, WI returned to his beloved Dyersburg where he practiced medicine for over 52 years, until he retired (begrudgingly) at the age of 79. He took care of many generations of families in Dyersburg with his dry wit, sense of humor, and common-sense wisdom approach to the practice of medicine. Rising often in the night to make house calls, WI would simply pull on his clothes over his pajamas so as not to waste a minute as he quickly headed out the door. WI's deep compassion for his patients' well-being quickly endeared him to a community that loved and respected him throughout a wonderful career and beyond. His love for being a doctor was exceeded only by his love for his wife and family. When he first met the lovely Ann Cox, a true Texan gal who had grown up on ranches, he fell quickly in love and eloped with her four months later, marrying into one of the more lively families in Texas. Ann and WI could not have been matched more perfectly, and it showed their entire life together. Ann and WI were blessed with three children and six grandchildren, and were married over 50 years. During their life, they toured the world together and enjoyed many adventures. A remarkable man, WI will be dearly missed by his children, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched. WI was a member of the First Baptist Church.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 5, 2011 at the First Baptist Church conducted by Reverend Mike Hickman with interment to follow in Fairview Cemetery in Dyersburg. The Thornton family will receive visitors Friday, November 4th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at the funeral home and Saturday morning beginning at 10:00 am until service time at the church. Curry Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include one daughter, Mary Thornton Payne and husband, Hunter, of Washington, DC; two sons, William Cox Thornton and wife, Sharla, of Dyersburg, TN and David Arthur Thornton and wife, Bonnie, of Memphis, TN; six grandchildren, Adam Morell Thornton, Zachery Boyd Cox Thornton, Seth McCartney Thornton, Charlotte Ann Thornton, Piper Ann Knox Payne, and Tucker Olivia Cox Payne.
The family requests memorials be directed to Community Cancer Fund, PO Box 1002, Dyersburg, TN 38025-1002.
Online condolences are available on our website- www.curryfuneral.com
Don Medford, 65, of Ripley, died Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Services will be held Saturday at the Cornerstone Full Gospel Church in Ripley at 1 p.m. Halls Funeral Home is in charge.