NEWCOMB — John H. Thornton, 90, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016 at Glens Falls Hospital following a full and wonderful life.
Born on Dec. 15, 1926 in Latty, Ohio, he is the son of Charles and Elizabeth “Libbs” Thornton. At the age of 2, he moved to Newcomb, New York and lived in the Newcomb house, where he spent his childhood, ultimately graduating from Newcomb High School.
In February 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served three years on the Navy ship Osborn DD846 as a sonar man, earning several victory and campaign medals. Upon an honorable discharge in 1947, he attended the State University at Potsdam where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. Following graduation, he accepted a position at Putnam Valley School District. While teaching, he won a New York State War Service Scholarship which gave him the opportunity to earn his master’s degree from Columbia University. Before receiving his master’s degree, he married the love of his life, Hilda Theresa Snide, daughter of Frank and Eldora Snide from Mooers Forks. Let’s not gloss over this sentence, though. His love for his wife was immeasurable. Upon earning his master’s degree, he accepted a position as the principal of Marbletown Elementary School until he retired in 1982. He was a very active member, serving as the president of the Roundout Valley Lions Club, was the zone chairman of the Roundout Valley District, member of the Marbletown Fire Company and a member of the Marbletown Rescue Squad.
Upon retirement, John and Hilda moved to the Adirondacks to their beautiful home in Newcomb with their trusting, loving dog, Poucher. Their home was filled with grandchildren and was a place that created delightful, loving memories with family and friends. And though the noble challengers were valiant, Dad never lost a game of horseshoes, as far as you know. Retirement, though, wasn’t in his blood. He served as the town assessor for 30 years until he passed. He became a member of the Newcomb Planning Board for 20 years. He loved spending time working at the Lake Harris Camp grounds, especially since he was able to take his boat to work. He also worked many years at the Blue Mountain Museum with his wife, Hilda. The true love of his life as previously mentioned in the above paragraph. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association and a member of VFW Post 5802. John loved to be in the Adirondacks. He was an avid hunter and loved to fish any time of the day. Well, except in the later afternoon when the fish aren’t biting.
He is survived by his loving wife, Hilda Thornton of Newcomb; his daughter, Debra Strom and her husband, Cliff, of Saratoga Springs; two sons, Robert Thornton and his wife, Mary, of Lake Luzerne, and Thomas Thornton of Taos, New Mexico; two grandchildren, Ashley Campbell and her husband, Matt, and Brett Strom and his girlfriend, Ashleigh Nolan, all of Saratoga Springs; brothers, Bob and his wife, Wilma Thornton, and Dale and his wife, Wanda Thornton; cousin, Nancy West of Newcomb; and many dear friends from all the places he called home.
A memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held in the spring at St. Therese Church, 18 Adams Lane, Newcomb, NY 12852. Family and friends may join the family for further fellowship at the home of John.
Interment with full military honors will be held at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville. Additional information regarding the time will be given at a later date.
Arrangements are entrusted to Compassionate Funeral Care, 402 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs.
An online guestbook can be found at www.compassionatefuneralcare.com