VeteranBilly Thornton

Billy ThorntonBilly I. Thornton, 83, of Rushville died at 9:05 a.m. April 30, 2018, at the Farmington Country Manor.

He was born March 17, 1935, in Mounds, a son of Earnest and Lola Parmley Thornton. He first married Elaine Harris in 1956 in Ithaca, N.Y. He later married Patricia Prather on Jan. 24, 1976, near Rushville. She survives.

Also surviving are four sons, Tommy (and Johnna) Thornton of Springfield, Andrew (and Laura) Thornton of Canton, Scott (and Bridgett) Thornton of Savannah, Mo., and Tracy (and Amy) Thornton of Petersburg; three daughters, Lynne Shelton and Brenda King, both of Quincy, and Suzy (and Bob) Hammon of Rushville; two sisters, Virginia Gerard of Glen Carbon and Karen Walls of Mount Vernon; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Terri Hamm; and three brothers, Eugene, Wilburn and Ray Thornton.

He served in the United States Air Force, during the Korean Conflict, as a dog handler. He was severely injured in French Morocco.

He first managed the produce section of the Piggly Wiggly in Sarasota, Fla. He then worked as a journeyman meat cutter at Piggly Wiggly stores in Collinsville and St. Louis, for 17 years. In 1974, he moved his family to Rushville, where he managed Feigl’s and Jack and Jill grocery stores. He served as a mentor to many young workers at the store. For a time, he and his wife owned the Jack and Jill Store in Ottawa. He then returned to Rushville and worked as a supervisor at Excel in Beardstown, retiring in 1997.

He was a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Rushville.

He was active with the Boy Scouts for many years.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at his church with Reverend Karen Merrick officiating. Burial will follow in the Rushville City Cemetery with military rites by the United States Air Force Honor Detail and the Schuyler American Legion Post #4. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Wood Funeral Home in Rushville.

Memorials may be made to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Condolences may be sent to


Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 5/2/2018


Current Obituaries in the Astoria South Fulton Argus