Cover photo for William "Bill" Jack Thornton's Obituary
William "Bill" Jack Thornton Profile Photo
1926 William "Bill" 2022

William "Bill" Jack Thornton

March 24, 1926 — December 13, 2022



William “Bill” Jack Thornton was born in American Fork, UT on March 24,1926 to Ira and Zella Thornton. He was the oldest of seven children. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 13, 2022, in Alpine, UT.

He married Betty Philips on July 29, 1945, in Provo, UT. They were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple on August 21, 1946. They were married for 72 years, had ten children, thirty-six grandchildren, seventy-two great grandchildren, and thirty-three great great grandchildren. 

Bill started working on his Grandpa’s farm at the age of 11 and he was the neighborhood mechanic. He served in the Navy for 19 months at the end of WW2 and was employed at Geneva Steel for 38 years. 

Bill’s life was focused on service. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in numerous callings throughout his life. Bill and Betty were called to serve a two-year mission in Concho, Arizona. He was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America for a large majority of his time on earth. He achieved and was awarded a Silver Beaver. Bill and Betty were long time members of the Good Sam’s Club where they did a lot of service and went on many adventures.

In October 2016 Bill and Betty sold the family home they built and lived in for 60 years. They moved into River Meadows Senior Living Community in Alpine, UT. Betty passed away in 2017. In 2021 he met Patsy “Pat” McMichael when she moved to the facility. In April of 2022, at the youthful age of ninety-six, he made her his new wife. They enjoyed eight wonderful memory filled months together. 

Bill touched so many lives and even at 96 years old, he still knew how to bring the funny. He was always putting a smile on everyone’s face with his great sense of humor. He loved to dance and twirl his partners. His favorite pastime was listening to country music, putting puzzles together, creating new gadgets, and watching old western movies and TV shows. He loved the outdoors including camping, fishing, and boating. He was full of life, laughter, knowledge, and a great love for the Lord. He spoke hope and life into several generations.

He is survived by his wife Patsy Thornton, his children Karma (Jim) Harmer, Linda Street, Terry (Deborah) Thornton, Ronald (Suzan) Thornton, Rose Marie (Jay) Williams, Kathaleen Thomson, Cheryl Harris, Kimberly (Michael) Buhler and his sister, Laverne (Lynn) Pulley. Preceded in death by his wife Betty and two sons, John “Jackie” Thornton, and Michael Thornton. 

The funeral services will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2022, at the American Fork 5th ward chapel. 381 South 300 East American Fork, UT 84003. The funeral service will begin at 1:00pm. There will be a viewing prior to the funeral from 10:30 am- 12:30 pm. Interment will be at the American Fork City Cemetery.

If you're unable to attend the service in person, please honor Bill as we celebrate his life virtually through the following Zoom link:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William "Bill" Jack Thornton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 22, 2022

10:30am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 22, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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