James Bernardo Thornton

James Bernardo Thornton passed away at a rehabilitation center in Texas City, Texas on February 2, 2024 at the age of 75. Jim Thornton was born on May 9, 1948 in Moline, Illinois. Jim was in the first grade class when Holy Family Catholic School opened in Grand Blanc. He graduated from Grand Blanc High School in 1966. He went on to do two years at Flint Junior College (now known as Mott Community College) and then he enlisted in the Army. At the age of 20, he was a Buck Sergeant with a group of men under him in Vietnam. He would describe his 13 months in Tae Ninh, Vietnam as his proudest serving his country. Jim had a strong work ethic that he learned from his father who he was very close to. He worked many hard jobs after the Army including being a welder and working in the Chevy Plant on Bristol Road. He later moved to join his brother Greg in Texas City where he worked many years as an inspector on the large cargo ships that brought in thousands of gallons of oil and crude chemicals to Galveston’s Ports. This was a job he loved and he excelled at.

He would say he was our mother’s favorite since he was born on Mother’s Day. She always looked forward to his weekly calls and he made a point to come back to Michigan in April and September every year to see her. During those visits, the rest of us noticed there were certain menu items that were always made when “JIM” was coming to town. Being the oldest, Jim always had to be the Big Brother and the Responsible One that our parents depended on heavily when he was growing up and living in Michigan. It was a role he readily took on as he was always there to be our father’s right hand. Jim and our father shared many interests together including firearms, reading, and building things with their hands. He was very talented with fixing cars, doing plumbing, electrical work and other things he learned from Dad.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Jim Thornton, and Carmen C. Thornton and his younger brother Greg Thornton. Jim leaves behind his brother Floyd Thornton, wife Susie, sister Jet Kilmer, husband Mark Kilmer, sister Therese Bachman, husband Ken Bachman, sister in law, Chanda Thornton and many nieces and nephews. A committal service with military honors will be held on Monday, February 26, 2024 at 1:30pm in the chapel at Crestwood Cemetery on Hill Road. A visitation with viewing will be held from 1:00pm until the time of the service at 1:30pm.

Jim’s obituary was written by his loving family.


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6 Condolences

  1. Carol branam on February 16, 2024 at 7:40 pm

    Im sorry you lost your big brother

  2. Susan Lybarger Thornton on February 18, 2024 at 10:53 pm

    I am so honored to have known Jim. He had a wonderful smile and mischievous sense of humor! I am so sorry that I cannot be with you as you remember and celebrate his life. God bless and comfort the Thornton family. I love you all.

  3. David and Ousama dashakra@yahoo.comAbu-Shakra on February 20, 2024 at 4:13 pm

    Dear friends, so sorry for your loss, may the Lord bless his soul and may He grant you all his kindness and comforting care. David and Ousama Abu-Shakra

  4. David and Ousama Abu-Shakra on February 20, 2024 at 4:14 pm

    Dear friends, so sorry for your loss, may the Lord bless his soul and may He grant you all his kindness and comforting care. David and Ousama Abu-Shakra

  5. Mary Lou & Joe Sullivan on February 20, 2024 at 4:48 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to all of Jim’s family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. May Jim Rest in Peace.

  6. David Rappley on February 20, 2024 at 8:36 pm

    He started stopping by my place when he visited home. The more he stopped the more we had to talk about. What a nice guy. I was honored to have been a friend. God bless and rest in peace.

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