Michael S. Thornton, age 57, of Balmat, passed away suddenly at home on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
His funeral service will be private at French Funeral Home, Gouverneur. Condolences may be shared at www.frenchfuneralhomes.com.
Michael was born on May 9, 1956 in Gouverneur to the late Gerald and Leota (Hazelton) Thornton. He graduated from the Edwards High School where he took a 12 week course through the Talented Senior’s Program though St. Lawrence University. Mike also studied construction and plumbing through St. Lawrence County BOCES. He was a great soccer player and helped his school win 4 state championships.
He married Rosalee E. Walrath on April 30, 1977 at the Gouverneur United Methodist Church with Rev. Stanley Brown officiating. The couple lived in Fowler before moving to Balmat in 1991.
Mike was a master mechanic below ground for Gouverneur Talc for many years where he was a member of the Safety Rescue Miner Team. He also worked as a contractor, operating R.E. Thornton General Construction, where he “Built other people’s dreams”.
Mike was a great father and husband who thought of family first; and put his own needs last. He loved to teach his grandchildren how to fish and taught his family how to love. Mike loved unconditionally and that was his greatest gift to all. He was truly a gentle giant.
Mike could build anything and loved to work with his hands. He was an avid hunter, enjoyed watching the deer in the summer, and enjoyed fishing bullhead and catfish.
His survivors include his wife of 36 years, Rosalee of Balmat; his daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Guillaume Thomas of Alsbach, Germany; his son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Carrie Thornton of Dracut, MA; five grandchildren, Gerad, Zachary, Caleb and Mae Thornton, and Theodore Thomas; his sister, Debbie Phillips of Fowler; two brothers, Dale Thornton of Dekalb and Floyd Thornton of Edwards; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Jerry Thornton.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Health and Hope Mission, Gouverneur NY 13642 or to the National Rifle Association, P.O. Box 420648, Palm Coast FL 32142.