John F. Thornton Jr., 85

John F. Thornton Jr., 85, of Georgetown, Del., passed away on Monday, June 26, 2017. He was born in Wilmington, Del., to the late John F. Thornton Sr. and Alice A. Phillips Thornton.

Thornton was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served during the Korean War era. He retired from the Diamond State Phone Co./Verizon in 1992 after 36 years of service. Thornton was a member of Mary Mother of Peace Roman Catholic Church, Telephone Pioneers, American Legion Post 28 and the Knights of Columbus. He was outgoing, very caring and always had a smile. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who loved spending time with his family. He will be dearly missed.

In addition to his parents, Thornton was also preceded in death by two brothers, Warren and Leonard. He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Phyllis Thornton of Georgetown; three sons, James Thornton and his wife, Beverly, of Smyrna, Tenn., John F. Thornton III and his wife, Deborah, of Georgetown, and William J. Thornton of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; two daughters, Kathy Clough and her husband, John, of Frankford, Del., and Sharon Murphy and her husband, John, of Georgetown; two brothers, Thomas Thornton and his wife, Margie, of Wisconsin, and Michael Thornton of Pennsylvania; three sisters, Alice Morey of Tennessee, Ellen Godfrey and her husband, Bob, of Wilmington, and Janice Corcran and her husband, Tom, of Pennsylvania; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

A funeral service will be held Friday, June 30, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Watson Funeral Home, 211 S. Washington Street, Millsboro, Del., where friends may call at 10 a.m. for viewing and visitation. Burial will follow in Union Cemetery in Georgetown. Del. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial donations to Mary Mother of Peace Roman Catholic Church; 202 Edwards St.; Georgetown, DE 19947. Condolences may be sent online at