Wayne Thornton Sr.

May 9, 1947 ~ February 21, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old


Wayne E. Thornton, Sr.,75, of Rockingham passed away Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at Richmond Co. Hospice Haven. He was born May 9, 1947 in Richmond County, a son of the late Albert Donald Thornton, Sr. and Marzell Haigler Thornton Stephenson.

Wayne was in the graduating class of 1967 at Rockingham High School. He proudly joined the United States Marine Corp after graduation in 1967. Wayne served during Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Naval Commendation with Valor, Coast Guard Combat Action, Navy Unit Commendation Sargent, National Defense Service Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Service 2 Campaign. He retired disabled from the US Marine Corp as a Sargent. He then worked and retired from Burlington Industries after 38 years of service. He coached youth baseball for several years, was the Scoutmaster of Troop 64 and enjoyed bowling. He and his father-in-law, Caston Rayfield, were both founding members of Northside Volunteer Fire Department, established in 1980. Wayne really enjoyed playing golf and volunteering many years at The Crosby Tournament, for 15 of the 18 years that is was hosted in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He also loved being outdoors hunting, fishing, camping at the river, riding the boat, and skiing.

He was preceded in death by his two brothers Albert D. Thornton, Jr. of North Wilkesboro and Ray Thornton of Sandford, sister Carolyn Stephenson of Texas, grandson Zachary Thornton of Rockingham, nephew David Thornton of Sandford, nephew William “Buddy” King, Jr. Funeral services will be held Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at Community Church with Rev. Chris Thornton officiating. Burial will follow at Richmond Co. Memorial Park with military honors.

Surviving, Wife of 54 years, Karen Rayfield Thornton of the Home; Sons, Wayne Thornton, Jr. and Tammy Looney of Asheboro, Chris Thornton and wife Stephanie of Rockingham, and Matt Thornton and Karen Graves of Rockingham. Grandchildren: Taylor, Christian, Noah, Ayden, Nevaeh, Kaleigh, Kyng, Lendzii, Amelia, Amara, Aiden, Layla, and 6 nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Sunday from 2-3 prior to the service at the church and at other times at his home.

Memorials may be made to Community Church, 193 Mill Rd. Rockingham, NC 28379 or Richmond Co. Hospice, 1119 US Hwy. #1 N Rockingham, NC 28379.

Online condolences may be made at Watson-King

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Richmond County Memorial Park
1717 E. Broad Ave.
Rockingham, NC 28379


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