Joan Thornton

March 19, 1932 - February 21, 2019

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Joan Thornton, age 86, of Willard, Ohio, passed away on Thursday, February 21, 2019.

Joan was born in Ashland, Ohio on March 19, 1932, to Irene (née Lindsay) and George William Shanefelter. She married, Robert Floyd Thornton, on June 28, 1952. Preceded in death were her husband, her parents, and sisters Marilyn Helbert and Billie Harpster.
Surviving are five children, Rebecca (Mike) Mannarino of Cincinnati, Kathryn Thornton of Willard, K. Alec (Tami) Thornton of Willard, Andrew (Cindy) Thornton of New Albany, Ohio and Aaron Thornton of Willard. Also one sister, Sue Coy of Avon Lake, Ohio. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren. Matt (Debra) Zawalich, Jason (Christina) Zawalich, Rosemary (Dustin) Stewart, Nick (Maura) Strance, Tyler (Kori) Thornton, Rob and Marie Thornton, Ben Thornton (Jessica), Zachary Thornton (Bri), Kate Thornton (Tyler), Brandi Thornton (Chad) and 13 great grandchildren.

Joan was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt and will be profoundly missed by her family. She was an expert knitter, novice water skier and snorkeled the Caribbean waters like a grouper. At home, Joan loved keeping outdoor birds fed while chasing away those darned squirrels - all while sitting at her kitchen picnic table watching Fox News. At 5pm each and every day, she enjoyed a whiskey and soda with whoever was able to join her for happy hour. She loved her time on earth, but there is no doubt that Joan and Bob Thornton, Paul and Joanne Jones, John and Pat Rosso and Tom and Ruth Secor, aka the Donald Duck Club - as a group, had more fun that anyone we know.

Joan unselfishly donated her body to the Cleveland Clinic and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Burial will also be held at a later date at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Willard Centennial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 88, Willard, Ohio 44890. Memorial expressions online by visiting


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Peggy Opatken - Feb 26, 2019
Tim and I send our deepest sympathy at this difficult time for your family. What a nice long life Joan had...may she rest in peace.
Marsha Ganni - Feb 26, 2019
Andy, Cindy and family, So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.
Marsha Ganni - Feb 26, 2019
Kathy and family, So sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless
Tami Owens-Salyer - Feb 26, 2019
Prayers to the Thornton family. She was a great lady who always had a smile on her face! She will be missed!
Jennifer Caudill-Shaver - Feb 26, 2019
We are so sorry for your loss. Pleas know you will be in our prayers they this difficult time.
Lorna Tuttle Lacey - Feb 26, 2019
So sorry for your loss, prayers for strength and comfort to all the family.
Susan Holmes Wiles Hellinger - Feb 25, 2019
Thornton Family, this makes me very sad. We are experiencing the passing of a generation. Your mom and dad were significant to the Willard community and your loss is a loss for all of us. May God grant you His peace at this time.
Kathleen Miller - Feb 25, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of Joan. She and her family were so welcoming to us when we moved into the neighborhood. You are in my prayers.
Ned and Cheri Peddicord - Feb 25, 2019
To the Thornton Family: We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. May the wonderful memories of your loved one help you during this sad time.
Jeff Penwell - Feb 25, 2019
Sorry to hear of your lost. Thinking of all the family at this time.
Deb Brown - Feb 25, 2019
I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. She was lovely, welcoming and a great life guide for her wonderful, spirited family...dancing with your Dad amoung the angels!
Mary Ann Hess McNaull - Feb 25, 2019
Joan was one of my very favorite classmates. Ashland high school class of 1951 The last time I saw her was at a class reunion held at the Ashland Country Club. Condolences to her family Mary Ann McNaull
Roger & Diane Stephens - Feb 25, 2019
We are so sorry for your loss Thornton family. Our prayers are with you all. We love you.
Courtney Carnahan - Feb 25, 2019
Thornton Family, So sorry for your loss. Prayers for peace during this sad time. XO
ReNea Owens - Feb 24, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Thornton family. God Bless all of you