Dr. William Terrance "Terry" Thornton (1939 - 2010)
Dr. William Terrance “Terry” Thornton, 71, died at his residence on August 9, 2010. Born on July 26, 1939, to the late Garfus Sherman and Letha Hollingsworth Thornton, he was a native of the Parham Community in Monroe County.
Terry attended public school in Monroe County and graduated from Hatley High School, Class of 1957. He earned three degrees, including a doctorate, from the University of Mississippi.
Terry married Betty Ann Rooker of Tupelo on December 17, 1961. Terry taught briefly at Brookhaven High School before returning to North Mississippi to teach science at Milam Jr. High School in Tupelo and elementary science for the newly-created educational programming at WTVA in Tupelo. These lessons were the first educational TV to be broadcast in the state of Mississippi and were watched both by children in the classrooms and by television viewers in North Mississippi, Western Alabama, and Southern Tennessee. After two years in Tupelo, Mr. Thornton was named an NDEA fellow at Ole Miss. When he completed his doctorate, he began his college teaching career at Troy State College, now Troy University. He later taught in the Troy University System at the Fort Rucker Branch and the Dothan Branch.
Dr. Thornton was a man of many talents and interests. He played the piano and organ at numerous churches, social events, and weddings. He loved both reading and writing and was the author of numerous stories, poems, and recollections of growing up in Monroe County. Terry was a popular public speaker and conversationalist. He was a naturalist and bird watcher. Terry taught countless students and teachers to enjoy studying science.
Dr. and Mrs. Thornton have two sons, William Terrance “Teb” Thornton, Jr., (Coleen), Fulton, and James Garfus Thornton (Charlena), New Orleans; his grandchildren, William Terrance III, and Margaret Ann, Fulton, and Charles William, New Orleans; brother, Thomas Sherman Thornton, (Patricia), Amory; and several nieces and nephews.
A Memorial service for Terry Thornton will be held at 10 AM, Thursday at the funeral home with Rev. John Foster officiating. Inurnment will follow in Lann Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 5 – 7 PM, Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be given to Itawamba Historical Society, Mantachie, 38855-0007 or Sanctuary Hospice House Home Care, 5159 W. Main St., Tupelo, 38803.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Arrangements for the Thornton family are in the care of E. E. Pickle Funeral Home, Amory; 256-2644.
Published online courtesy of E.E. Pickle Funeral Home.