Popular Pascagoula native and business owner passed away after a longtime battle with diabetes. He passed away at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula on Wednesday September 18, 2019. Johnny, and best known as “Thunder” Thornton was owner of “Thunder’s Tavern” on Market Street. Johnny was born on February 17, 1951 in Carthage, Mississippi. His parents were Walter M. and Doris Pepe Thornton. Johnny attended Pascagoula Schools and was an outstanding football star tackle. He received a football scholarship to Ole Miss playing under Coach Johnny Vaught and playing with Archie Manning. He later graduated from Southeastern Louisiana with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Johnny was preceded in death by his parents; younger brother, Walter “Waldo” Thornton, Jr. and longtime companion, Suzanne Walker.
He leaves behind two aunts, Norma Thornton of Gautier and Christine Fun of Arkansas; a sister in law, Sherri Hodges Thornton of Pascagoula, along with several cousins, Eddie Thornton, Glenda Chappell, Judy Caston, Sandy Duncan, Charlotte Copeland, Becky Beckham, David Thornton, Gary Thornton and Mitchell Thornton. There are many friends who also mourn his death, especially his dog Danny.
Visitation will be Sunday, September 22, 12:00-2:45 PM at O’Bryant-O’Keefe Funeral Home in Pascagoula. Memorial service will be in the chapel at 3:00PM with Rev. Wade Chappell conducting the service. Burial will be Monday, September 23, 2019 at 2:00PM in The Sunrise cemetery in Leake County. In lieu of flowers the family ask that memorials be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215 or National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016