Mary E. Thornton

Mary Thornton photo 2

Mary Elizabeth Thornton (affectionately known as “Betty”) was born January 2, 1932 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Estella D. Smith and Young Mitchell. She was called to eternal rest on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

Betty accepted Christ at an early age. Throughout her lifetime, she faithfully served in many ministries, beginning with Bethany Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and lastly, First Church of God, under Bishop Timothy J. Clarke. She was a true missionary and loved serving the Kingdom of God.

Betty spent her formative years caring for her mother and as a domestic worker. She took delight in bringing out the best in others by ensuring their clothing was impeccably pressed. Self-educated, Betty also used this outlet to mingle and connect with community leaders and influencers. She left an impression wherever she went, but especially in the Southeast Columbus community. Later, she retired from Hair-N-Stuff Beauty Supply after 15 years of service as a cashier and store manager. Betty was also an avid baseball fan.

Sixty-four years of a feisty, yet passionate marriage, Betty, along with her late husband James, took pride in caring for their family and community. Everyone lived at 746 Kimball Place at one time or another – family, friends, and friends of friends. The love James and Betty poured into their five children was cascaded down to the many generations that followed. On any given day, you could find the two of them supporting their family in more ways than one.

Those who knew her closely, also knew her as “Bargain Betty!” She was frugal, yet resourceful, which was necessary for a large and continuously growing family. She will be missed for her wittiness and tenacious energy.

Betty is preceded in death by her husband James Thornton Sr., Parents, brother Thomas Brinson, two sisters, Juanita Brinson and Phyllis Smith, stepbrother Basil Smith, stepsister Elizabeth Smith, and daughter Theresa Ervin.

Matriarch of six living generations, she is survived by daughters, Sharon Jenkins (late Rufus Jenkins), Brenda Green, sons James Thornton Jr. and Gary Thornton, and God daughter Gwendolyn Ray, a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and great-great-great grandchildren, along with many relatives and friends. She will forever be remembered by “Blessed by the Best, God Almighty!”

Visitation 10:00 AM and PRIVATE (TICKET REQUIRED) Funeral Service 11:00 AM Friday, October 2, 2020 at First Church of God, 3480 Refugee Rd.


Interment at Evergreen Burial Park.

Condolence Messages

  1. We would like to extend our condolences to the family. In just a little while all of the pain and sorrow that we feel from the death of our love ones will cease and be replaced with joy, because the former things have passed away. Truly sorry for your loss.

  2. Please accept our deepest condolences in this time of sorrow. We are sending love and prayers, and God will get you through this difficult time. May Aunt Betty Rest In Peace. Love Always.

    Aaron, Mary, Michelle, and Cheryl Thornton

  3. I would like to express my sympathy to the whole Thornton Family. Mrs Thornton was instrumental in helping me to be the Lady I am, instrumental in showing me how to raise my daughter Brandi and my son Robert.
    I thank you for showing me the proper way to iron our clothes and the whispers on confidence in my ears. Mrs Thornton you left me with the tools to keep putting one foot in front of the other with style and grace.

    • To my family, Aunt Betty will hold very fond, dear and happy memories to me. My love and prayers are with each of you. My God continue to lead you and provide comfort

  4. Mother Dear, you will be missed but forever in my heart. From the time I meet you at 11 years you to held a special place in my life. To my extended family my condolences and love to you all. Rest Mother Dear

  5. Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest.
    Rest in peace Betty your work on earth is done.

    Hair “N” Stuff

  6. Aunt Betty will truly be missed. I have always enjoyed the times I talked with her and sorry I didn’t do it more. She is honest and very spiritual. Sending condolences and prayers. Love❤️

  7. Kevin "Woody" Palmore

    I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Thornton Family. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers not only today but in the days to come. God will grant you His peace, for He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Look to Him for His unyielding love, even in the midst of what would appear to be insurmountable sorrow. God is faithful and He is never more then just a prayer away. Just know that in your weakness, God’s strength is made perfect. Grace and peace.

  8. Our deepest condolences to the family of Mary Thornton. May God keep you during this difficult time.
    The Levert Family

  9. My condolence going out to the Thornton family Warren Hill Jr Tito

  10. I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to the Thorton family. You will always be in my prayers and I pray for a comforter at this time in your hour of need .

    Stacey Jones

  11. To The Family, May God Bless, Comfort You ,And Give You Love And Peace And Joy.

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