Jessie Thornton

In Loving Memory of Mr. Jessie Thornton

Dillard Funeral Home of SE Arkansas(July 7, 1931-Jan. 9, 2018)

— Home going services by Dillard Funeral Home
Minister’s Institute
1329 Front Street | Eudora, AR
Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
Rev. Clyde Sanders, Officiating

Jessie Thornton was born July 7, 1931 in Sterling, AR to Oliver and Josephine. He was the 7th of 10 children: Josie, Katie, Thelma, Molly, Betsy, Susie, JD, Emiri, Oliver Jr. and Esmond.

Jessie accepted Christ at a very early age. He was baptized at the St. Luke’s Baptist church in Sterling under the leadership of Pastor Clay. In 1955, he joined St Paul Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor Littleton. He continued in service there until 1973, when he joined his wife at Bloomfield #1 Missionary Baptist Church in Readland. However, in Spring 2003, Jessie returned to St. Paul and continue to serve there as a deacon.

Mr. Thornton was also the president of the Melody Masters Gospel Quartet, and a part of the Free Masonry organization.


Jessie Thornton married Fredella Marie Toney September 24, 1955. They had seven children: Billy, Bobby, Shirley, Clarence, Peggy, Ellen and Patricia. Mr. Thornton was an incredible example to his children . He worked at Readland Farms for many years, long past retirement age. He taught his family very early in life the value of honest, hard work. He also taught his children to trust in God. Through his example, his family developed a strong foundation in God through weekly family prayer and devotion.

Jessie made the transition to his heavenly home Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 at 1:10 p.m.  He was preceded in death by both parents, his beloved wife, sisters, brothers and his youngest daughter. He leaves to cherish his life and memories three sons: Billy (Pauletta) of Chicago, IL, Bobby (Mary) of Little Rock and Clarence (Linda) of North Little Rock, as well as his very special son-in-law George Davidson of Monticello.

He also leaves five daughters: Beatrice Wilson of Chicago, Shirley Riggs (Richard) of Chicago, Peggy Graham of Dolton, IL, Ellen West of East Chicago, IN and Diane Williams.  There are 18 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter.

Mr. Thornton had one special cousin, Susan McClain Kincade, a special friend and employer Claude and Diane Grubbs, ad a hist if nieces, nephews and extended family.

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