Gerald Thornton Obituary

Gerald D. Thornton
Gerald D. Thornton
Gerald D. Thornton

August 16, 1924 - August 24, 2011
Born in Sioux City, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Gerald D. Thornton, 87, passed away August 24th after a valiant battle with cancer. Jerry was a loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather and friend. Throughout his long life Jerry distinguished himself as an accomplished business leader, community supporter and charitable contributor. Jerry will be missed.

Jerry was born in 1924 in Sioux City, Iowa to Edward and Louise Thornton. In 1943, Jerry enlisted in the US Army Air Corps and served for three years during World War II in the South Pacific, participating in the invasions of Saipan, Guam and Okinawa. After the war Jerry attended the University of Iowa for both undergraduate and graduate study, graduating in 1951 from the university's law school. During his time in college, he met the love of his life, Anne Irwin. After graduating Jerry and Anne were married and moved to Des Moines where he went to work for Meredith Corporation.

Over the next 38 years, Jerry became a leader for Meredith eventually becoming General Counsel, Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Directors before retiring in 1989. Also during this time he proved himself a tireless volunteer in numerous community, business and charitable organizations that included Jerry servicing as President of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Des Moines United Way Campaign. Jerry was also active in the Catholic Church as a member of Holy Trinity and St. Augustin's parishes. With all the success Jerry enjoyed as a businessman and community leader, his proudest achievements involved his family. Jerry and Anne had nine children and 23 grandchildren during their 60 years of marriage.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Anne; and eight children, Larry (Teresa) of Sioux Falls, SD, Libby Stanton (Jeff), Dan (Gina) and Margie Marble (Mike) all of Des Moines, Chris (Beth) of Winterset, Katie Bartlett (Mike) of Santa Rosa, CA, Pat (Laura) of Johnston and Mike of Mt Vernon, IA. Jerry is also survived by one brother, E.J. (Mary) of Birmingham, AL. Jerry was known and loved as "Papa" to 23 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son, Jerry; parents; two brothers, Darwin and Lawrence; and one sister, Evelyn.

A rosary will be said for Jerry at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 28th at Iles Funeral Homes, Dunn's Chapel, followed by a visitation from 3 to 5 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 29th, at St. Augustin's Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jerry's name to: St. Mary Family Center at 1815 Hubbell Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50316.


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Dunn's Funeral Home
2121 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Sunday, August 28, 2011
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Mass of Christian Burial
St. Augustin's Catholic Church
545 42nd Street
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Monday, August 29, 2011
9:30 AM
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Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Monday, August 29, 2011