Betty J. Thornton
Betty Jane Thornton, daughter of Alvin and Nellie (Hutchinson) Kelley, was born May 9, 1926 on a farm north of Jefferson, Iowa and departed this life August 2, 2012, Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care, Jefferson. She lived her life to the age of 86 years, 2 months and 23 days.
Betty attended country school in Hardin Township and then attended high school in Dana and Beaver. She graduated from Beaver High School in 1943. On October 7, 1944, Betty Kelley was united in marriage to Leo Thornton in Jefferson. Six children were born to this union. After Leo was discharged from the Army in 1945, he and Betty farmed south of Spring Lake until 1958 and then moved to a farm south of Grand Junction. In 1968, the family moved to a farm west of Churdan. During these years, Betty raised her family and took an active part helping Leo on the farm. Betty enjoyed gardening and canning. Due to Leo’s health, he retired in 1972 and the family moved to their present home in Churdan. While living in Churdan, Betty drove school bus and was the Paton-Churdan School Librarian, the Churdan clothing store and as a CNA for 13 years at Greene County Medical Center, Jefferson. When Leo passed away in 2003 Betty continued to live in Churdan until April, 2007 when she became a resident of Greene County Medical Center Long Term Care.
Betty was a member of the Central Christian Church, Jefferson and the American Legion Auxiliary, Churdan.
Betty is survived by her six children; Sue Thornton of Jefferson, Linda (Bill) Gebhart, Tom (Jane) Thornton, Sally Hoyle all of Churdan, Cindy (Jay) Adamson of Jefferson and Kelley Roe of Fort Dodge, nine grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, two great-great grand children, a brother, Jerry Kelley of Jefferson and an aunt, Hazel Herrick of Jefferson. Those who preceding her in death were her parents, husband and two granddaughters, Barbara Jo Scott and Stacy Ellen Thornton.
A celebration of Betty’s life was held on Monday, August 6, 2012 at 2:00 P.M. at Brown Funeral Home, Churdan. The Rev. Debbie Griffin officiated. The song “Broken Road” was sung by her granddaughter, Abby Hoyle, accompanied by organist, Marsha Subbert. Recorded music “Like My Mother Does” and “The Old Rugged Cross” were also played. Burial was at Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan.
Serving as casket bearers were Jay Adamson, Greg Gebhart, Kevin Rasumssen, Bill Gebhard, Greg Gill and Shea Minnihan. Honorary casket bearers were her grandchildren; Brenda Gill, Jill Rasmussen, Becky Freeman, Laura Minnihan, Abby Hoyle, Jenny Roe, Mady Adamson & Macaulay Adamson; great-grandchildren, Megan McCormick, Brandon Schmidt, Jacob Rasmussen, Tressa Rasmussen, Colton Schmidt, Alek Gill, Ben Gebhart, Trey Minnihan, Ella Gebhart and Jaxton Nelson; great-great grandchildren, Cade Silbaugh and Leah McCormick.
Visitation will be from 3 to 6 PM Sunday at the funeral home.