Mona Thornton passed away peacefully at the Intercare Chinook Care Center on Monday, June 28, 2004 surrounded by her loving family.
Mona was born in Edmonton to Norman and Gertrude Priestley, while Norman attended the U of A in the first class of divinity students there. She grew up in parsonages in Wainwright and Coaldale, the eldest in a family of five. Graduating from Normal School in Calgary, she went to Rowley, AB to teach elementary school, where her principal was Douglas Thornton. After their marriage, Douglas taught briefly in Coaldale, (married women were not eligible to teach) before moving to Calgary with the UFA Co-op. Mona was active in the CGIT (Canadian Girls in Training), directing many summer camps at Camp Kasota on Sylvan Lake and at Elk Island Park. Music was her thing, and she taught piano and singing lessons in Calgary for years. She was a member of the Knox United Church choir and directed the Junior choir there. She directed the Choral Belles, a first rate semi-professional women’s singing group for several years. She also directed the Pleasant Heights United Church choir. Mona was Music Director of Riverview United Church for twenty years, during a period of intense activity in that church, with as many as five choirs bringing the joy of music to the worship services. Her musicality grew over the years, but it was her caring, cheerful and co-operative attitude that endeared her to her many friends and associates. Introduced to world travel by their children in 1972 with a trip to Britain and Scandinavia, Mona and Douglas became hooked, and over the next period of years, in spite of Douglas’ leg amputation, they visited all parts of the globe, bringing back copious notes and slides. Mona returned to teaching in the 1960s at Milton Williams Junior High, where she taught English and music, becoming the Guidance Counselor. She was rated in the top 5 percentile of counselors in the city, bringing the same wisdom and understanding she showed in her musical avocation to benefit generations of students. She and Douglas were presented with the Premier’s Award of Excellence for their many years of work with young people. They were avid outdoor people, camping, hiking and fishing in the Foothills and mountains for as long as they physically could. Mona’s legacy to her family is the love and closeness they all have for one another, which grew from her own intense caring for them. Her life was full of learning, laughter, teaching, and a sense of adventure. She will be missed.
Mona is survived by her son Harold (Dolores); her daughter Lynne (Bob Hamshaw); and three grandchildren, Scott (Val) Thornton, Leanna (Ed) Larkcom and Jocelyn (Darryl) Whitney and their cumulative seven children; as well as Mona’s great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Betty Meyers of Lethbridge, AB. Mona was predeceased by her husband and best friend, Douglas in 1998.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Mona’s Life will be held at Living Spirit United Church (900 – 47 Ave. S.W.) on Monday, July 5, 2004 at 1:30 P.M. with the Rev. Rita Cattell officiating. Flowers are gratefully declined. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, #100, 2421 – 37 Avenue N.E., Calgary, AB T2E 6Y7 Telephone: (403) 250-7090, www.mssociety.ca/en/give. The family wishes to thank the staffs at Cross Bow and Chinook Care Centers for their excellent personal care during Mona’s time there.
In living memory of Mona Thornton, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W., CALGARY, TELEPHONE: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences