Obituary of Nellie Leota Thornton
Nellie Leota Wiltheiss Thornton, age 96 , passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019 in Erie, PA, where she had resided with her son and his wife, Gale and Judy Thornton. She was the daughter of the late Edythe Marie (Knoop) Wiltheiss and Ernest Christopher Wiltheiss. Nellie was born in Troy, OH on October 14, 1923. She was married to Robert Howard Thornton of Piqua, OH for 56 years, at the time of his death in 1997. Surviving are three children: Dr. Larry Thornton (Sandra) of Simpsonville, SC, The Honorable Tanya Thornton (Ralph) Shewell of Watkinsville, GA, and Gale Thornton (Judy) of Erie. Deceased at age 16 was a son, Steven Thornton, who died of muscular dystrophy.
There are eight grandchildren surviving: Kimberly Thornton Weaver (Stephen) of Rochester, NH, Heidi Thornton Arndt (William) of Simpsonville, SC, Kristi Shewell Pollard (Donald) of Sperry, OK, Drs. Justin and Anastasia Shewell of Athens, GA, Jason Thornton (Heather) of Owasso, OK, Jeremy Thornton (Jessica) of Bixby, OK, Teresa Ramey Brands (John) of Vandalia, OH, Michael Ramer (Lisa) of Dexter, MI, eighteen great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Nellie was one of fourteen children. Surviving are two sisters; Peggy Drennan of Covington, OH and Carla Van Hoogen of Boise, ID. Also surviving is her sister-in-law Phyllis Wiltheiss of Bern, IN. Her deceased brothers are: Donald, Gene Richard, Ernest, Bobby, and Jack Wiltheiss. Her deceased sisters are: Betty Wiltheiss Carity, Mildred Wiltheiss Weatherhead, Lois Wiltheiss Boehringer, Doris Wiltheiss Elifritz, Carol Wiltheiss Woods, and Janet Wiltheiss Maxon.
Nellie was brought up as a farm girl. During WW II, while her husband served in the Army, Nellie worked to help the war effort by employment in a plant making airplane propellers. Years later Nellie worked for eight years as the supervisor of the ladies’ wear department of McCrory’s store in Troy, OH, and later worked in the ladies’ wear at Kmart in Erie.
Nellie loved to sew and to quilt, even making her daughter’s wedding gown. Quilts were often wedding and baby gifts to family. She was active in church ministries all of her adult life. Flowers and baseball she loved, but her real passion was her family.
A heartfelt thank you goes to all the caregivers at Manchester Commons, Eagle Ridge. Especially those who connected personally with Nellie and took such wonderful care of her. You were an answer to our prayers. We are forever grateful for the compassionate care you gave her. We especially want to thank Betty Wisniewski who was such a good friend to her in Eagle Ridge.
Local funeral arrangements are being handled by the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd.
Out of town arrangements are being made by Suber-Shively Funeral Home, 201 W. Main St., Fletcher, OH. The hours of visitation will be on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 5 P.M. until 7 P.M. The Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at the Suber-Shively Funeral Home, officiated by Jason Thornton. Burial will be in Fletcher Cemetery, Fletcher, OH.
Memorial donations may be made to Erie Church of Christ, 2317 West Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16506.