Jerry Wayne Thornton

Jerry Wayne Thornton loved to smile, and he loved to laugh.

"He was the most kind person that you would ever meet," said family friend Henry Jackson, who saw Mr. Thornton as a father figure. "He always had a smile on his face."

Jerry Wayne Thornton of Columbia died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012. He was 74.

He was born Aug. 1, 1937, in Columbia to Roy and Theresa (Pierce) Thornton.

Mr. Thornton graduated from Hickman High School. After serving in the military, he worked as an office secretary at the Econo Lodge in Columbia.

Jackson said Mr. Thornton loved his cat, Tess; collecting nutcrackers and everything about Thanksgiving, especially the ham.

"He'd have two or three or maybe four plates of food," Jackson said.

Jackson said he and Mr. Thornton used to enjoy driving through the country roads to nearby towns like Fayette and Glasgow on Sundays when the weather was nice.

Mr. Thornton is survived by his sister, Doris Schneider of Boise, Idaho, and his brother Allen Dale Thornton and his wife, Jan, of Mission, Texas.

His parents and two brothers, Charles and Ted Thornton, died earlier.

Inurnment will be at 1p.m. on Tuesday in Columbia Cemetery, 30 E. Broadway.

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