He was born Jan. 15, 1939 in Leon, a son of the late Addison Thornton and the late Dorthea Mattox Thornton. He attended the White Oak Baptist Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Nellie Mae Robinson; and a sister, Helen Lyons.
He is survived by his second wife, Amy A. Thornton; six children, Mary Wamsley of Mason, Richard Lee Thornton of Letart, Melvin Ray Thornton of Pomeroy, Ohio, Darlene Wears of Racine, Ohio, Harry Ray Scarbarry of Letart and Elizabeth Gerlach of Cross Lanes; five step-children, Kathy Hanks of Rio Grande, Ohio, Gale Gill of Letart, Linda (Mike) Stanley of Southside, Cinda (Greg) Stalnaker of Point Pleasant and Tina (Mike) Elkins of Bidwell, Ohio; three sisters, Mae Morrison of Middleport, Ohio, Louise (Cecil) Roush of Letart and Judy (Ike) Spencer of Racine, Ohio; 19 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 at the Anderson Funeral Home in New Haven with Rev. Bill Murphy officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service. An on-line registry is available at www.andersonfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the White Oak Baptist Church, 1555 Nibert Road, Gallipolis, OH 45631.