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Shirley June Thornton (1939-2023)

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Our dear Mother, Shirley June Thornton, sadly passed away on Aug. 20, 2023, at the age of 84. She was born on April 21, 1939, the youngest of four children, to Charles Otto Sr. and Gertrude Blanche (Sheriffus) Smith in Abilene, Kan.

Shirley was a strong, independent woman and a loving mother. She touched many lives throughout her journey. She loved her family, friends, puzzles, game-playing and chocolate. She was very well known for her wit and ornery personality.

Shirley worked a variety of jobs throughout her career, including Lincoln County Hospital for 24 years in the housekeeping department, all the while having various part-time cleaning jobs in local businesses and private homes. After retiring from LCH, she moved to Kanopolis, Kan. She continued to work a few part-time cleaning positions until October 2021, when she enjoyed full retirement.

Shirley is survived by her children, Debbie Schultz (Delvin) of Ellsworth, Kan., Bill Thornton (Susan) of Lorraine, Kan., and Becky Carlson (Lanny) of Ames, Iowa; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Charles and Melvin; sister Joan Giebler; and two great-grandchildren.

Graveside memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, at Ellsworth Memorial Cemetery. A luncheon will be served immediately following at Thornton Auto Parts (Napa) 1417 Evans, Ellsworth.

Memorials may be given in her honor to the Cancer Center of Kansas, Salina, Kan., or Gentiva Hospice of McPherson, Kan., c/o Parsons Funeral Home, P.O. Box 45, Ellsworth, KS 67439. Condolences may be left at