Charles Craig Thornton, 84, passed away Saturday, May 25th, 2019, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Charles was born September 12, 1934, in El Dorado, Arkansas, to Charles Robert Thornton and Nettie Mildred Craig Thornton. He attended school in El Dorado and graduated from El Dorado High School. Charles played one year of football at Little Rock Junior College, then joined the United States Marine Corps in 1954. He served his tour of duty for two years in Japan. Upon leaving the service and returning home, he enrolled in college again.
In 1958, he married Virginia Spooner, also of El Dorado, and they moved to Fayetteville where he finished his college education at the University of Arkansas. Charles received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Minor in Industrial Management. He became the Personnel Manager at Prescolite in El Dorado, and eventually started his own business as a Manufacturer’s Representative in Little Rock (Thornton Sales Agency.)
Throughout his lifetime Charles was an avid athlete who participated in many sports, culminating in his later years by running triathlons and several half marathons. Some of his favorite times were spent with Virginia watching their children and grandchildren play sports. They also had many happy hours on Lake Ouachita with their children and grandchildren. Charles also loved to travel. He and Virginia were fortunate enough to be able to travel to many countries around the world before he became ill.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Don Thornton. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Virginia. He has two sons, Charlie Thornton (Missy), and Johnny Thornton (Lisa), and one daughter, Julie Thornton Molinaro (Joe); nine grandchildren: Jessica Molinaro Abshure (Camren), Chase Thornton, Mallory Thornton Reedy (Allen), Clint Thornton, J.J. Molinaro, Brittany Thornton, Marisa Molinaro, Tommy Thornton, and Clark Thornton, and three great-grandchildren, Charlie, Jolee Belle, and Sailor Reedy.
Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00pm on Friday, May 31st, at Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home. A funeral honoring Charles will take place Saturday, June 1st, at 1:30pm, at the funeral home with burial following at Rest Hills Memorial Park.