D.K. Thornton, Jr.

D.K. Thornton, Jr., 81, a lifelong resident of Dayton, Texas, passed away on the afternoon of Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Houston, Texas. He was born on September 22, 1939, in Dayton, to the late D.K. Thornton, Sr. and Zular Gibbs Thornton. D.K. graduated from Dayton High School, in Dayton with the class of 1957.

D.K. worked as a head operator for HL&P for many years before his retirement with the company. Before going to work with HL&P, he worked for seventeen years with Southwestern Road Boring Company. D.K. was a hardworking, soft-spoken, and simple man. He believed in the Lord, was dedicated in his faith, and never felt the need to preach it to others.

D.K. pursued many interests, some of which included hunting, and his passion for farming and ranching. He was an avid lover of horses, cattle, and old western movies. D.K.’s favorite hobby of all was spending time with his family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren whom he adored more than anything.

D.K. was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Hulan Thornton; and his sisters Ruth Thornton Morse and Evelyn Thornton. He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his wife of 64 years, Justina Gillen Thornton; his sons Tony Thornton and wife Cathy of Dayton and Jerry Thornton of Baytown; his grandchildren Dustin Thornton and wife Katie of Liberty, Christopher Thornton of Dayton, Jonathan Thornton of Colorado, Ethan Thornton and wife Ciara of College Station, and Joshua Thornton of Baytown; his great-grandchildren Madi and Maci Thornton of Liberty, Nora, Abel and Crew Thornton of College Station; his siblings Mary Thornton Pennington and husband Gene of Anahuac, Syble Thornton LeBlanc of Alvin, Robert Earl Thornton, Sr. and wife LaNell Westcott Thornton of Dayton, James Earnest Thornton and wife Sissy Copeland Thornton of Macedonia; his many nieces and nephews; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.

Honoring the family by serving as pallbearers will be Christopher Thornton, Jonathan Thornton, Joshua Thornton, Dustin Thornton, Shannon Thornton, Robby Thornton and Charlie Mercer. Honorary pallbearers will be Ethan Thornton and Brian Maddox.

Friends are invited to visit with the family from 4pm until 8pm, on Monday, March 15, 2021, in the chapel of Sterling Funeral Home, 602 N. Main Street, Dayton, Texas. A funeral service and celebration of D.K.’s life will be held at 2pm, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in the chapel of Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton, with Pastor Jose Flores, officiating. A graveside service and committal will immediately follow in Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in D.K.’s honor to the charity of your choice.

To send flowers to D.K.’s family, please visit our floral store.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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