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News Story
Updated: 07/30/2014 08:00:08AM

E. Eugene Thornton

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E. Eugene Thornton of Lake Wales, Fla., passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014, at the Lake Wales Medical Center.

He was 78.

He was born in Hazelhurst, Ga., on Aug. 18, 1935 and moved with his family to Plant City at an early age where he attended schools. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and returned to Polk County, where he was employed at Florida Highway Department in Bartow and met his future wife Jeanette. In 1965, he and his wife moved to Idaho and then to Montana, where he worked for a civil engineering firm designing portions of the interstate system. He and his family returned to Polk County in 1982 and resided in Lake Wales. They owned and operated Gene’s Landing, a fish camp on Lake Pierce. He was also employed at Lake Wales Hospital in the Security Department and served several years as Head of Security before he retired. He was a member of Central Avenue Baptist Church in Lake Wales. Eugene was a lifetime member and Past Master of Morning Star Masonic Lodge #5 in Helena, Mont., and a charter life member of the Bannack Historic Masonic Lodge at Bannack State Park, Mont. He had a fun-loving, outgoing spirit and was passionate about his family, friends, God and country.

Survivors include his wife, Jeanette G. Thornton; a son, Jason G. Thornton and his wife, Sarah; a brother, Herb Thornton; two grandchildren, Janesha and Travis; and many nieces and nephews.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Marion Nelson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

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