Sheila Thornton, age 71, of Franklin, died peacefully September 25 at the Jack Byrne Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Lebanon, NH, following a brief battle with glioblastoma multiforme. She was the daughter of the late Lawrence and Lillian Cote. Sheila attended Franklin schools throughout her life. While attending Franklin High School she was a majorette, participated in an a cappella group, and was voted the “most talkative” member of her graduating class. It was also there that she started dating her future husband, Richard “Ben” Thornton. They married in 1969, and this year celebrated fifty years of marriage. She attended Pierce College for Women. Together, she and Ben had two children, and she spent much of her life devoted to caring for them. After many years as a homemaker, she took on increasing responsibilities at Franklin Regional Hospital, working as a receptionist, patient registrar, and a leader in the patient accounts department. She also served as a volunteer with the Franklin VNA Hospice for several years. Later in life, she helped care for her mother, a centenarian, with whom she shared a home for many years. She was an active member of The Bible Speaks Church in Lakeport. She was known for her great sense of humor, gift of conversation, and ability to make friends easily. She had a special love for her pets, took pride in keeping her yard beautifully adorned with flowers, and enjoyed studying The Bible.
She is survived by her husband, Richard “Ben” Thornton of Franklin, her children, Craig (Diane) Thornton of Ellicott City, Maryland, and Dr. Kristen (Steven) Thornton of Rochester, NY, sister, Marlene (Larry) Hershfield of The Villages, Florida, and sisters-in-law Sr. Claire Thornton, CSC, of Manchester, and Judith (Raymond) Lachance of Concord. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Abigail and Kaitlyn Thornton of Maryland, and Noah and Annika Hope Brauksieck of New York, as well as two nephews. She also maintained many enduring friendships with members of the Franklin High School Class of 1965, colleagues, and neighbors throughout her life.
A private service of remembrance will be held by the family at a future date. The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to their “family members by heart” Angie, Chris, and Tyler Carson, for their extraordinary loving support. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Sheila’s memory to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105