Mary Elizabeth Thornton, of Thornton, Texas, passed away at Limestone Medical Center in Groesbeck on Monday, May 1, 2023, at age 80.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. until time for the funeral service, in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel.
Funeral services will begin in the Chapel at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, with Brandon Verm of the Central Baptist Church of Thornton officiating.
Mary was born August 5, 1942, in Birmingham, Alabama, the only child of Williams Charles and Pauline Hodge. The family moved to Cypress, Texas, where she attended school and graduated from Cy-Fair High School in 1961. She met the love of her life while she was in the 7th. grade, and Mary and Buddy Thornton were sweethearts throughout school.
Mary Elizabeth and William Lee “Buddy” Thornton were united in marriage on October 20, 1962, and they were happily married for 58 years until his death in 2021.
Mary worked for Cy-Fair ISD as a school bus driver for over 40 years, until retiring in 2005. She loved her bus kids and still talked about them over the years after retirement. Mary and Buddy were parents who not only loved their own children but loved to have all their children’s friends at their home. Their home was the hub for the gathering of friends, where there would often be as many as 15 cars. They took the family to Lake Somerville every weekend, and there was camping with many friends, sometimes including 40 people.
When Mary and Buddy retired in 2005, they moved to Thornton, where she further indulged her love of all kinds of animals. They had previously had racoons while their children were young, and she had always loved her cats. In the country, they became acquainted with the local deer and squirrels and racoons who came to the door to be treated. She had some of these named and hand-fed cookies to the babies. They spread out big bags of dog food to also welcome foxes, possums and even skunks.
In retirement, she especially loved and enjoyed the grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was Mary’s wish later in her life to have a reunion of those who grew up with her kids, but this was never to be accomplished. Hopefully many friends, along with her family, will fondly remember her loving kindness and hospitality.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; an infant son, Ronald Lynn Thornton, (the twin brother of Donald); and her beloved husband, Buddy Thornton.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Donny and Lori Thornton of Spring; daughter, Pamela Thorstenburg of Houston; granddaughter, Nicole and husband Cody Browning of Tomball; grandson, Clayton and wife Rachel Thornton of Thornton; great grandchildren, Owen, Logan and Emily Browning of Tomball, and Aubree and Harper Thornton of Thornton.