Cover photo for James R. Thornton's Obituary
James R. Thornton Profile Photo
1931 James 2021

James R. Thornton

April 27, 1931 — November 11, 2021

James “Jim” Richard Thornton, 90, of La Crosse, passed away on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at Benedictine Villa. Jim was born April 27, 1931 in La Crosse, WI. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Arlene; sisters, Betty Lou (Lawrence) Iverson, Geraldine Thornton, and Patricia Forer; and parents, Richard and Elizabeth (Horak) Thornton.

Jim had a long life of service to the community. He was a member of the La Crosse Police and Fire Commission for 35 years, President of the Parish Council of St. Pius X, longtime Eucharistic Minister and usher at St. Pius X Parish/MMOC, and served as an overseas trainer in the Marines during the Korean War. He managed the Consolidated/Speedway gas station at the corner of 19th and Jackson street in La Crosse for 30 years. If you needed gas, a cup of coffee, advice, or some friendly abuse, Jim was sure to have something to offer. He was a passionate Wisconsin sports fan, always fearing the worst but hoping for the best. He enjoyed many years of the highs and lows of following the Packers, Brewers, Bucks, and Badgers. He adored his wife Arlene and the numerous experiences they had over their five decades together along with the annual summer family vacations. His sharp wit, passion for family, and religious devotion will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his daughter, Barbara (Lawrence) Romanko; sons Michael (Colleen), Steven (Stacey), and Timothy (Lisa); granddaughters, Amanda (Shaneez) Beck, Alyssa (Ben) Brubaker, Brittany (Cody) Deml, Ashley (Kyle) Huiras and Michelle (Joel) Odean; grandsons, Thomas (Vanessa), Alexander (Gabrielle), Max, and Jacob Thornton; eight great-grandchildren; and brother, Charles Thornton of Lawrence, GA. The family would like to express their deep appreciation for the care and comfort Jim received from so many staff at Benedictine Villa, Mayo Clinic hospice, and Moments hospice. Their commitment and compassion is truly an inspiration for all of us.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate. Entombment with Military Honors performed by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post No. 52 will be held in the St. Joseph Mausoleum, Catholic Cemetery. Family and friends may visit from 9:30 AM until the time of Mass at Church on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Salvation Army, Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, or Food for the Poor. The funeral mass will also be streamed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James R. Thornton, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 87

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree