Thomas Thornton, 92

Thomas James Thornton, age 92, of Montgomery, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and loved ones in the early morning of Thursday, September 6, 2018 at Mayo Systems Hospital in New Prague. Visitation will be held on Friday, September 14, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12 p.m. Father Victor Valencia will be officiating. Interment will be held at St. Thomas Cemetery in St. Thomas. Military Honors provided by the Montgomery area Veteran’s Honor Guard.

Tom was born on the family farm on June 9, 1926 in Le Center to Michael and Mary (Malinski) Thornton. He was a Le Center High School graduate. He served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a Private First Class Regular Army in July 1948. He continued to run the family farm and also was a bartender at the Palace Bar for many years.

On February 8, 1964 Tom was united in marriage to Rita Kaderlik and settled into family life in Montgomery. Tom and his family were faithful members of Holy Redeemer Church. Tom’s main career after the sale of the family farm was with Green Giant in Montgomery from 1967 until he retired in 1989. After retirement he found pleasure in his many hobbies. He took up golfing, and even sponsored an annual family reunion golf tournament, “The Twister Open”. He taught himself computer skills and enjoyed staying in touch with family and friends via Facebook. 

Tom was an avid fisherman, hunter, and all around outdoorsman. He was a super fan and rarely missed a Twins or Vikings game, along with all other Minnesota teams. Tom was a staunch Democratic and could be easily coaxed into arguing politics mainly by his favorite nephews; (The Lang Boys).

Tom is survived by and greatly missed by his beloved wife, Rita Thornton of Montgomery; children, Stephanie (Tony) Stage of Katy, TX., Thomas (Sarah) Thornton of Gresham, OR., Jeff (Jan) Birdsell, of Lake Havasue City, AZ., Tony (Linda) Birdsell of Montgomery, and Tim (Cindy) Birdsell of Montgomery; grandchildren, Forrest Drengler, Delia Thornton, Brooke Vandervoort, Kale Drengler, Jason Birdsell, Tyson Birdsell, and Justin Birdsell; 5 great-grandchildren; siblings, Michael Thornton of California, and Jacqueline McCall of California; also many nieces and nephews.

Tom is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Evelyn Lang, and Alyce Bolke.

Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery. 507-364-7929



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