Hamilton Roosevelt Thornton was born on December 23, 1934, to the late Hamilton Garland and Lucile Harrod Thornton, in York County, Virginia. He entered into eternal rest on Monday, April 20, 2020.
At an early age, Hamilton accepted Christ as his personal Savior and joined the Grafton Baptist Church, Harris Grove, Virginia. In 1967, he became a Trustee of the Church and served as Chairman of the Trustee Board from 1977 to 1988. On November 5, 1989, he was ordained as a Deacon. He served as the Chairman of the Deacon Board from January 2000 until his death. He was also a member of the Adult Sunday School Class, Male Chorus, and Men’s Fellowship. He was also active in the church community, civic and social affairs.
He graduated with the Class of 1953, from the York County Training School and later attended Hampton Institute. On February 2, 1954, he enlisted in the United States Army and served three years. Thereafter, he joined the Army Reserves and served twenty-five years. He retired from the military with the rank of Master Sergeant.
He enjoyed fifty-eight years and eight months of marriage to Delores C. Thornton, until her death in 2014. Unto this union five children were born; two of which are deceased, Wayne and Angel.
He was employed at the Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia as a Laborer in 1952 and retired in 1990 after thirty-eight years as Superintendent of Public Works.
The Honorable Hamilton R. Thornton 33° started his journey as a Mason in 1957 as a member of Light of the Valley Lodge #9. He became Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Consolidated Hiram Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. Scottish Rite State jurisdiction of Virginia in 1987 and served from 1987 until 1999. He served as Deputy President General of the Original General Masonic Congress of Grand Masters, United States of America, and Canada, Inc. from 1998 until 2018. The title of Deputy President General Emeritus was bestowed upon him.
Hamilton was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He was a master woodworker and brick mason who built his own home. He was an avid fisherman, fruitful gardener, and lover of luxury vehicles. Just like his father he was intelligent, self-taught, and possessed a wealth of knowledge. He was a former York Stars Baseball Player #44 and Scout Master of Troop 86.
He recently celebrated his 85th birthday with his family and stated, “I have lived a good life. God has given me more than three score and ten and I am truly BLESSED. I don’t have any regrets or hard feelings against anyone. All is well with my soul”.
His motto was, “If I can help somebody along the way each day of my life, then my living will not be in vain, I live to serve others”.
He leaves to cherish his memories; daughter, Donna D. Thornton; sons, Garland O. Thornton Sr. and Hamilet W. Thornton; grandchildren, Sharita S. Boone, Garland O. Thornton Jr. (Marietta), Chanel C. Thornton, Krystle D. Stricklin (Renard Sr.), Clinthque N. Thornton, Tiffany D. Jones (Devon), Taylor R. Thornton, Christina D. O’Neal (Miles), Tyler W. Thornton; great-grandchildren, Renard J. and Kennedi D. Stricklin, Du-Sean L. Bellamy, Jr., Dash T. and Talia D. Jones, Gamyr C., Gamyl C., and Gunyr C. Thornton; sisters, Theresa Borum, Retha Whitley, Deloris Epps (George), Joyce Thornton, Emma Thornton, and Ruth Thornton; brothers-in-law, Howard Jacob Jr. (Barbara) and George Jacob; sister-in-law, Alice G. Johnson; and a host of nieces, nephews, loving relatives, and friends.
Mr. Thornton may be viewed on from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2020, in Whiting's Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020, in Grafton Baptist Church - Harris Grove Cemetery. Due to the current health pandemic, all attendees are to remain in their vehicles during the service. Livestreaming will be available.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011. whitingsfuneralhome.com
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