LuVerne “Verne” L. Thornton, blessed with 97 healthy years, of Sheboygan Falls, passed away on Saturday, November 25, 2017, at Prairie Crossing.

Verne was born on April 28, 1920, in Amery, WI to John and Lillian (Jensen) Thornton.

He was a graduate of Sheboygan North High School.

On September 13, 1941, he married Virginia Wagner in Sheboygan. She preceded him in death on May 15, 1982.

In December 1942 he joined the United States Army and served as a Corporal during WWII.

On June 18, 1983 he married Leona Gatzke, she preceded him in death on May 26, 2008.

Verne was employed at the Vollrath Company for 37 years as a Supervisor until his retirement in 1985.

Verne was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls.

He enjoyed watching and playing golf and tennis, going for drives, and was a car enthusiast.

Verne is survived by his two sons, Richard Thornton of Arvada, CO and Daniel (Lynn) Thornton of Howards Grove; one grandson, Matthew (Meghan) Thornton; one granddaughter, Riley Thornton; one brother, John Thornton; two stepsons, Galan (JoAnn) Gatzke and Dennis (Diane) Gatzke; one step daughter-in-law, Nancy Gatzke; 8 step grandchildren; and step great grandchildren.

Verne was preceded in death by his two wives, Virginia and Leona; his parents; sister, Beverly Budrecki; brother, Keith Thornton; and two stepsons, Lee Gatzke, and Jeffrey Gatzke.

A funeral service to celebrate Verne’s life will be held on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 5pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls with Rev. Mark Janzen officiating.

A private family entombment will take place at Gardens of Peace Mausoleum in Kohler.

Relatives and friends may greet the family at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls on Friday, December 1, 2017 from 2pm until the time of service at 5pm.

A memorial fund is being established in his name for a local food pantry.

For online condolences and additional information please visit

The Wenig Funeral Home of Sheboygan Falls (920-467-3431) is serving the Thornton family with arrangements.

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