Hazel Thornton

Friday, July 12, 2002

Hazel Lorene Winton Thornton, 91, died Tuesday, July 9, 2002, at Clearview Nursing Center in Sikeston, Mo.

She was born Oct. 20, 1910, in Piggott, Ark., to Minnie Bell Hardin Winton and Orlum Russell Winton. She was raised in Piggott with her four brothers and one sister: Ray, Garland, Orlum, Paul Sims, and Neva.

Hazel was the oldest daughter and a source of strength to the family when her father passed away at the age of 40. Following her graduation from Piggott High School, she attended business school with the help of her brother Garland.

United in marriage to Fred H. Thornton Oct. 13, 1929, she became the mother of three children: Janice Rice Haas, Helen Christianson Hilton, and Fred Howell Thornton II.

They moved to Chaffee, Mo., in 1946 where she and her husband owned the Bank of Chaffee. She was a beloved mother devoted to the happiness and welfare of her children, and she delighted in 11 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild.

She and her husband spent many winters in Florida following their retirement, and located to Sikeston in 1988.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her daughter Janice, and her siblings.

Hazel Lorene Thornton enjoyed a full and prosperous life. Through insight and strength she and her husband Fred nurtured a loving and caring family and provided them with the emotional and financial foundations necessary to live fulfilling lives.

She initiated family reunions that to this day are planned and attended by all her surviving descendants who will miss her guiding hand and caring love that provided footing to all their efforts.

She was a well respected member of the community and participated in First Christian Church of Chaffee, Sikeston P.E.O., and bridge clubs. She was a talented seamstress, artist, and enjoyed creating handiwork for her loved ones including afghans for all her grandchildren. She and her husband enjoyed traveling.

Survivors include the children of her daughter Janice: Joe Perry Rice of Chaffee, Howell Bruce Rice of Chaffee, Julianne Fels of St. Louis; her daughter Helen and her husband Gregg Hilton of Dillon, Mont., and her children: Dr. Erik Christianson of Ketchikan, Alaska, Kyle Christianson of Salem, Conn., Lee Christianson of Dillon, Amy Christianson Navarro of Washington, D.C.; her son Dr. Fred Thornton and wife Lynn of Sikeston, and their children: Jennifer Graves of Columbia, Mo., Dr. Heather Estopinal of Huntsville, Ala., Fred H. Thornton of Sikeston, Dr. Christopher Thornton of St. Louis; 30 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.

There will be visitation today at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Chaffee from 4 to 8 p.m. A P.E.O. service will be held at 7:45.

The funeral service will be held Saturday, July 13, at Amick-Burnett Chapel at 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Vyron Yount officiating. The graveside service will be at Piggott City Cemetery at 2 p.m.

Pallbearers will be her male grandchildren.

The family requests that any donations be made to First Christian Church of Chaffee, First Christian Church of Sikeston, or Alzheimer's Foundation.