Joseph W. Thornton passed away on 2/27/2022 surrounded by his adoring family. Joe was predeceased by his parents, John F. & Mary B. (Crane) Thornton, his cherished wife & mother of his children, Betty, his eldest son Joe and his 2nd wife, Joan. Also predeceasing him were his siblings & their spouses Jack Thornton, Warren & Jeanne Jennings and John & Mary Stokes. Joe was also predeceased by John & Dawn Cook. Joe is survived by his son Sean & daughter Jocelyn, as well as by his adored grandsons, Maddox & Hunter, whose accomplishments & honorable character he so revered & cherished. Also surviving are nieces & nephews Lynda & Ron Randall, John & Laurie Jennings, Kate Jennings, Mickey & Gerald Abbey and Mark & Barbara Rose, whom he loved & regarded as his own children. Also surviving are Shirley Rollo, Debra & Dan Bunzey, Brittany & Stephanie Whited, Michele Schmidt, as well as the great nephews & nieces & cousins of the Jennings, Randall, Abbey, Rose, Crane, Cook, Convertino & Rollo families. Joe was the beloved patriarch of the Thornton clan. He possessed an uncanny memory, vividly remembering back to early childhood and as the keeper of the cherished Irish family genealogy, Joe was a treasure that will be sorely missed. A talented storyteller, Joe loved to regale tales of family and friends growing up in the depression era and making the most out of modest means in a loving family to the eager ears of his devoted children, nieces and nephews to pass on. After assisting with his birth at home on Harrison Ave in Endicott in 1934, Dr. Grant referred to Joe as his ‘little tadpole.’ As a child, his birthday, which fell so close to Christmas posed a challenge receiving presents, but being the youngest, he always felt like he was treated special at Holiday time. The sled he got one year stood out as he and Gene Springer and cronies went straight over to En Joie Park, a couple blocks walk, to put it through its paces. Speaking of birthdays, his mom would make him his favorite dish, Chop Suey! His favorite lunch as a young boy was hotdogs & “football beans” more commonly known as Campbell’s baked beans. When he got to middle school, he met other lifelong buddies in Jimmy Rollo & Gene Springer. Growing up in the Thornton family was never dull and being the baby, Joe would invariably get coerced into some adventure or another, if nothing more than being the “lookout”. Or the time he was pranked into sitting down on a freshly painted chair at the impish affirmation of his giggling two older sisters. He recalled how the family car sat on blocks in the driveway because of rubber shortage during WW2. That probably saved him from more spankings like the one he received the time dad came home from work to find the family car had rolled down the driveway into the street with a young Joe standing on the seat behind the wheel scared to death.
Joe loved his country, faithfully serving in the US Air Force, being stationed in Germany. One of Joe’s favorite memories was that of visiting his brother Jack & niece Lynda while on leave in Morocco. Joe loved and served his Lord, faithfully raising his family at St. Christopher’s Church where he was a Lector. Joe was an admired member of the community as a VP at Marine Midland Bank and later Binghamton Savings Bank. Joe attended Syracuse University and loved the “Orange!”
With that Irish glint in his eye, he loved to laugh, sometimes laughing so hard he would be unable to speak! He was a devoted dad, son, brother, uncle, and a loyal friend who enjoyed many lifelong friendships. He was even known, on occasion, to break into the Jitterbug! He enjoyed game night and if the game was Trivial Pursuit, you’d better be on his team. He loved Nirchi’s pizza, a good Reuben, lamb spiedies and black pepper covering every square inch of any meal. For any family get together, he could be relied upon to bring Pasquale’s sausage.
Over the years in retirement, Joe looked forward to his weekly get-togethers with the lunch crew at House of Reardon, Dundee’s & Shenanigan’s, Eddie & Debbie McHugh, Mike Barrett, Gary Barnfather, and his numerous buddies, many of which have passed on.
In Joe’s world there were no strangers, just friends that he hadn’t met yet and people couldn’t help but love Joe everywhere he went.
A special expression of gratitude for Dr. Marek Gawel and nurse Amy, as well as Lourdes ER nurse, Ashley, for their exemplary kindness & care.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, March 4th at 1pm at the Mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery in Johnson City, NY, Harry L Drive entrance. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Those wishing to attend the Celebration of Life are encouraged to RSVP by email at [email protected]