Melvin (Bill) Thornton age 95, of Jordans Chapel Rd., Mt. Olive, NC passed away peacefully on October 2, 2020.
Bill was born in Sampson County on May 9, 1925 and attended Piney Grove School.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Allen and Rettie Darden Thornton, a son, Sonny Dan Thornton, sisters Virginia T. Woodard and Gertrude T. Edwards, brothers William B. Thornton and Cecil Floyd Thornton and granddaughter Tiffany M. Thornton.
He is survived by his wife of 78 years, Ruth Edwards Thornton, a daughter, Avis Edmundson (Jim) of Clayton, NC, two sons, Curtis Thornton (Vesna) of Pittsboro, NC and Douglas Thornton (Emma Kay) of Wilmington, NC; two brothers Delma Ray Thornton of Garner, NC and Robert Earl Thornton of Jordans Chapel Road. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Tammy Kornegay, Robert Thornton, Sonya Mendez, Sarah Holder, Rachel Patterson, Mike Edmundson, Will Thornton and Kimberly Thornton. He is also survived by nine great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Bill was a charter member of Friendly Holiness Church. He was also a member of Mill Creek Lodge in Newton Grove, NC where he served as Past Master, and a member of the Wayne Shrine Club and the Scottish Rite of Wilmington. Bill also was a charter member of the Jordans Chapel Volunteer Fire Department.
As a young man Bill stayed busy by working on the farm but was more interested in how things worked, whether mechanical or electrical. He enrolled in National Radio Institute in the early 1940s and would study electronics at night after farming all day. This led to his operating Thornton’s TV and Appliance Co for several years in Newton Grove, NC. His interest later turned to electrical contracting and the formation of Newton Grove Electric Co, Inc. in 1967 which he operated for 53 years. In addition to holding an unlimited electrical license for over fifty years, he was previously licensed in refrigeration and Plumbing & HVAC.
Bill enjoyed meeting new people and learning their history and connections to his community. He loved to tell a good story and a good joke but at the same time was a valued for his sage advice and consultation. He has helped many people throughout his life without the expectation of reward or acknowledgement (Matthew 6:2).
The family would like to thank the staff of Wayne Memorial Hospital and Kitty Askins Hospice for the excellent level of care.
A private graveside service for the immediate family will be held at Wayne Memorial Park in Goldsboro with the Reverend Carlton Moore officiating.
Mr. Thornton will lie in state on Monday October 5, 2020, between the hours of 8:30 am until 5:00pm and on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 until noon at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home.
Memorials made be made in his memory to: NC Masonic Foundation 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608, or to Friendly Holiness Church c/o Rosemary Moore, 1298 S. Jordans Chapel Rd., Mt. Olive 28365.
Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home & Crematory of Goldsboro is Serving the Thornton Family.
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