Edward F. Thornton Jr., 88, founder of Thornton Nursing Home

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Obit Edward F. Thornton JrNorthborough – Edward F. Thornton Jr., 88, died Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, surrounded by family at his home in Brunswick, Maine.

He was born Oct. 29, 1927 in Worcester, a son of Edward F. and Catherine Rourk Thornton. He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He married Rita Gallant on Oct. 2, 1972.

His early employment was with American Steel & Wire Company for whom he worked for 14 years. Following his graduation from New England School of Accounting, he ran an accounting business in Westborough, where he was also Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He later served as a Security Enforcement officer while living in Port Orange, Fla. However, his life’s passion was owning and operating Thornton Nursing Home in Northborough for which he received public recognition for the valuable care the residents received, and was a member of the College of Nursing Home Administrators.

Locally, he was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Church, Brunswick, and of the American Legion. He enjoyed bowling and was an avid golfer, having been a member of the Brunswick Country Club, and a founding member of the Cypress Head Golf Course, Port Orange, Fla.

He is predeceased by his first wife, Marion Parker Thornton, and a daughter, Lesa J. Thornton Ross. He is survived by his wife, Rita Thornton of Brunswick; a son, Stephen J. Thornton of Cambridge; three daughters, Maryellen Wright of Natick, Jean A. Thornton of Daytona, Fla., Tara Bowers of Kernersville, N.C.; two sisters, Kathleen Holbrook of Ft. Myers, Fla. and Joan McMaster of Auburn; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, Jan. 28, from 5-8 p.m., in Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main St., Northborough. A memorial Mass will be celebrated Friday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m., in St. Rose of Lima Church, 244 West Main St., Northborough. Burial will follow in Howard Street Cemetery.

Memories and condolences can be expressed at www.haysfuneralhome.com.

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