Bill “Willie” Allen Thornton of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed away Friday evening, June 7, 2013 at the age of 79. He was born January 16, 1934 to Herman Edward Thornton and Ocey Marie Bell Thornton in Braggs, Oklahoma where he attended school. “Willie” proudly served his country by joining the Navy serving in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He also was a reserve member of the Army National Guard. After his honorable discharge, “Willie” began his career in law enforcement where he worked for the Muskogee County Sherrif’s Department and Jess Dunn Corrections Center from which he retired in 1997 after 18 years of service.
“Willie” married Joyce Marie Miller on January 16, 1964 in Westminister, California. They celebrated 49 wedding anniversaries together.
“Willie’s” hobbies included fishing, boxing, and collecting coins. He was a member of the D.A.V. (Disabled American Veterans), V.F.W. (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and the American Legion. He was also an honorary member of York Street Christian Church.
“Willie” was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Ocey Thornton; his grandparents, Tom and Lucille Sanders; his siblings, Jerry Thornton, Johnny Thornton, and Brenda Brasier.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce, of the home; his daughters, Tara Tremblay of Muskogee, Shari Wetherbee of Portland, OR., Judi Miller and husband, Eric of Oregon City, OR.; his grandchildren, Corey Thornton, Chase Thornton, Ciara Tremblay, Colin Tremblay, Alyssa Wetherbee, Madeline Wetherbee, Michael Wetherbee and wife, Nakita, Tony Muff and wife, Roberta, Thomas Muff and wife, Megan, James Muff and wife, Vanessa, Jeff Miller and wife, Samantha; his 7 great grandchildren; his brothers, Roy Thornton and wife, Patsy, Buck Thornton and wife, Janet; his sisters, Ima Jean Vinzant, Myrtle Jackson and husband, Frank, Peggy Dawson and husband, Fred; plus many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
“Willie” was loved and will be missed by all who knew him.
Graveside funeral service with full military honors will be 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma with Mr. Gary Jones officiating. Serving as pallbearers will be Tony Muff, Roy Thornton, James Muff, Buck Thornton, Corey Thornton, and Brian Thornton. Honorary pallbearers will be Josh Pruet and Austin Bruce.
Services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Cemetery, 1830 N. York, Muskogee, OK, 74403. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com