Funeral services for Paul Thornton, 99, of Theodosia, will be held Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, at 1 p.m. at the Salem General Baptist Church, Ocie, with a dinner before the service. He died Oct. 24, 2017, at the Missouri Veteran’s Home in Mt. Vernon.
He was born July 14, 1918, in Fair Play, the son of Harve Thornton and Jennie Braly Thornton.
He graduated from School of the Ozarks in 1936. He joined the US Army in October 1941 and was honorably discharged in September 1945. He served in World War II stationed in Italy and Trinidad.
On Aug. 7, 1944, he married Doris Ledbetter. They lived in Branson and Nottinghill, then moved to Springfield. He retired in 1974 from Foremost Dairies in Springfield and moved to Theodosia.
He liked to hunt and fish and bowled on several bowling teams while living in Springfield. He enjoyed playing cards with neighbors and kids and was quite competitive. He liked bluegrass music and for many years went camping at bluegrass festivals all over Missouri and Arkansas. He couldn’t play an instrument or was not a singer, but occasionally would entertain everyone, especially at the Missouri Veteran’s Home with his very loud yodel.
After retirement Paul and Doris put out a huge garden at their home in Theodosia, and if it could be grown in Missouri, they grew it. He loved sorghum and every other year would grow sorghum. The 50 gallons or so he would produce would last about two years until he was ready to grow another patch.
Survivors include: two daughters, Paulette Gebhardt of Springfield, Patricia Krause and husband Jay of Kimberling City; three grandchildren, Michael Gebhardt and wife Jennifer of Port Charlotte, Fla., Micki Seeser of Long Beach, Calif., and Jenni Dunbar and husband Mark of Higlandville; one great-granddaughter, Sydney Gebhardt of Springfield; one great-great- granddaughter, Harper Gebhardt of Springfield; one 95 year-old sister Opal Thomas of Springfield; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, two brothers, Glen and Lester Thornton, one nephew and two nieces.
Burial will be in the Lutie Cemetery, Theodosia.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Missouri Veteran’s Home, Mt. Vernon, 1600 S. Hickory, Mt. Vernon.
Funeral arrangements are by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville.