Holly Gwynette Thornton

Holly Gwynette Thornton quietly passed into eternity Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at the Halifax Health Hospice in Port Orange, FL, with several family members at her side. 

She was also known as Sister, Mema and most recently nicknamed Spicy, by her ICU nurses. She was born in Alma Wednesday, June 10, 1953 to parents, Lendol Eugene “Pete” Thornton and Oletha Taylor Thornton.

Although she graduated from Patterson High School in 1971, where she was honored with the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award, most of her formative childhood and teenage years were spent in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Later in life, after raising her daughter, Tselane, and after becoming a Mema to Rebecca, she pursued a degree in accounting from Florida Community College at Jacksonville, graduating in 1997. While a student at FCCJ, she received an Outstanding Student Award and was inducted as a Phi Theta Kappan.

She was a most loyal friend, and having never met a stranger, she enjoyed the company of people from many cultures and backgrounds. Her natural gift of being a ‘people person’ came in handy as she served for many years at various Land & Williams establishments.

She also exhibited sterling sewing abilities, whether it was making sundresses for her daughter and nieces, or creating more extensive projects of furniture and awnings while employed by Rowlands Upholstery.

When pressed, she could concoct the most delectable Southern delicacies. Her cathead biscuits and pecan tassies always left one wanting more.

She never passed an opportunity to spend time on the beaches of Cumberland and Amelia Islands. Fort Clinch was also one of her favorite places to visit. She and her high school friends may or may not have entered the fort grounds via the sand dunes, on occasion.

She was an avid music fan, appreciating works from multiple genres. She especially enjoyed listening to her uncle, cousins and other band members perform as Dink Thornton and The Stateliners.

During her most recent years, Holly reveled in cruising the Caribbean and visiting extended family members in Northern California, often stating the sunset over the Pacific was so beautiful that it often appeared to be simulated.

She was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Lige and Elvira Thornton; her maternal grandparents, Oliver and Ellie Taylor; her father, Pete Thornton and her step-father, Leonard Carter.

Left behind to cherish her beautiful memory include her mother and step-father Oletha and Lamar Bryant; her daughter, Kira Tselane Thornton Russell (husband Brad); her granddaughter, Holly Rebecca Thornton (fiancé Christopher Waskoski); honorary grandson, Monjarius “Red” Keith; siblings, Rick Thornton (Barbara), Rhonda Thornton Kinsey (Ken), Lendol Thornton (Barbara Kay), Curtis Thornton, Belinda Carter Crowder and Katrina Carter Conti (Doel); nieces and nephews, Kandi Williamson Chambers, Jamie Williamson Hall (Jeffery), Devon Toovey (James), Meghan Forster Urias (Raul Junior), Lige Thornton, Lendol Thornton (Chrissy), Katie Conti, Kasey Conti and Adrien Conti; great-nieces and great-nephews, Andrea (Junior), Colby, Gracen, Lilah, Oliver, Liam, Ellie, Charlotte, Ryker and Carter; great-great niece and great-great-nephews Addisyn, Rowen and Bryson and a plethora of friends, aunts, uncles and cousins.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday Feb. 29, at the Kraft Athletic Club, 961023 Buccaneer Trail, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Please email your intent of attendance to tserussell@gmail.com

Memorial contributions may be made to Halifax Health Hospice, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129.

A1Affordable Cremation of Holly Hill, FL, was in charge of arrangements.

To plant a tree in memory of Holly Thornton as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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