H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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Louis Thornton

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Louis Thornton

January 3, 1925 - March 1, 2021


Louis died March 1, 2021, at Sunridge Place in Duncan, BC, survived by his beloved wife of 73 years, Patricia, children Anne (Glenn), Burke, Michael (Rene) and Douglas (Anne Marie).  Grandson Michael Clay Jones, with whom he shared a special bond, including adventures in duck hunting and horse racing, predeceased Dad in 2000.  Louis will be greatly missed by grandchildren Matt, Matthew, Cameron, Leah, Patrick, Marika, Alexandra, Luke and their partners as well as his great grandchildren Madisen, Adrianna, Taylor, Carly, Jaxson and many treasured nieces and nephews.

Dad was born in Regina, SK to the pioneer family of Louis and Agnes Thornton. He was the youngest of the seven Thornton children and the only son. Dad graduated from Central Collegiate and attended the University of Saskatchewan until enlisting in the Armed Forces on his 18th birthday. He rose to the ranks of Company Sergeant Major by 21 and was attached to the Black Watch.

After his discharge at war’s end, he married Pat in Swift Current, SK in 1947. The couple moved to Saskatoon where he established and operated the first Trans Canada Airlines (TCA) office.  Now a father of three, Dad left TCA in 1958, exploring careers with London Life in Winnipeg, then purchasing and operating a pharmacy in Pine Falls MB. In 1964, (now with four children), we moved back to Winnipeg where Dad became Exhibits Manager for the Red River Exhibition.  Three years later, he was promoted to Executive Director, a position he held until retirement from the business world at age 55.

In his varied business career, Dad demonstrated a talent for anticipating the future, buying the now permanent home of the Red River Ex when it was just a wheat field outside Winnipeg city limits.  He used this same foresight to buy an ocean view lot in Mill Bay BC in 1972, where he and our mom eventually retired to their dream home, spending another 42 years together.

As Dad neared the end of his business career, he became increasingly drawn to spiritual work. He studied to become an Anglican Priest and was ordained into the Ministry in 1976. For the rest of his life, he served as a Chaplain, Padre, as a Minister and as a spiritual advisor to all who sought his wise counsel. In 1978, Mom and Dad made the move to Mill Bay BC, where they continued to enrich their community, Dad as the parish Priest of St. John’s (Cobble Hill) and St. Andrews (Cowichan Station); Legion Padre, Brentwood College Chaplain, CMS food bank volunteer, Poppy Fund Manager and too many other worthy causes to mention.  In recognition of their tireless service to others, Dad and Mom were co-recipients of Rotary International’s Distinguished Paul Harris Award.

What distinguished Dad the most, however, was his amazing ability to enrich the lives of nearly everyone he met.  He had a rare gift of making you feel like you were the most important person in the world when he directed his attention your way in his characteristically engaging, energetic manner.

His other passions, aside from his beloved wife Pat, included watching his kids and grandkids play hockey, football, soccer, rugby and baseball.   Anyone that knew Dad well, knew that he was a joker. He loved to sing, bake cookies (usually at the same time), listen to Swing Music and Dixieland Jazz, entertain and spend his time with his many friends and family. He loved a good cause and good laugh. His death has left a big hole in both in his family and his community.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Malahat Legion 134 Poppy Fund or the CMS Food Bank (Mill Bay).

“Good night, sweet prince

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Memorial service to be arranged at a later date.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 123

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Marjorie Kallstrom
Relation: Friends

Larger than life, Lou will be missed. Our deepest condolences to you al , Hugs Marj and Ferd Kallstrom

From: Valerie Black
Relation: Friend

May the love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My heartfelt condolences.

From: Lenore Kongus
Relation: Friend

Sending much love to all your family. Lou will be sorely missed. Sincere condolences

From: Laura DeGroot
Relation: Extended family

Thinking of you all and hoping that the memories you hold dear will help you cope in this difficult time. Chris, Laura, Derek & Marcus DeGroot 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

From: Shirley Jennings
Relation: Friend

Lou’s death leaves the world a sadder place. I have so many memories of him, all of them good. His big laugh. His loud singing. His great stories. His hospitality. His love for his family. His friendship with my parents Sending my condolences to Pat, Annie, Burke, Mike and Doug and their families. Visits to Mill Bay won’t be the same.

From: Traci Waite
Relation: Friend

Pat and the entire Thornton family, I am so sorry for your loss. Lou will be missed but never forgotten. All of his family members and friends carry a piece of him inside and are better for it. You are all in my thoughts.

From: Nancy Buan
Relation: Niece on the Burke side of the family, daughter of Pat's brother Douglas and his wife Violet Burke.

I am so sorry to hear about Uncle Lou’s death and I send my heartfelt condolences to Auntie Pat and my cousins. Uncle Lou was a big figure in my childhood just because he was an irregular kind of Dad. He and Auntie Pat used to come to Swift Current in a Volkswagon beetle filled to the brim with kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa Burke. There was always lots of commotion and excitement for us kids and then they would drive off with the roof open and arms waving wildly from inside. We used to visit the Thorntons at Lou’s parent’s cottage at Regina Beach. Or was it Saskatchewan Beach? The cottage was more like a very gracious house sitting out on the prairie with a big porch and a sunroom with a wind-up Victrola playing songs that Uncle Lou would get us to dance to. They and the Wellmans loved horse racing, a world unknown to me, and I can remember Lou and Mrs. Wellman listening to the radio to hear the result of the horse races. He had lots of friends in that area and they “helped” paint the house one summer. As we drove away from that weekend and looked back at the Thornton’s cottage, we could see “Lou is a nut” painted on the roof. That was Lou!

From: Ian Hyde-Lay
Relation: Friend

RIP Reverend Lou. Lisa and I remember, and still appreciate, your love, wise counsel and sound advice of 31 years ago, as we prepared to get married.

From: Granville Fountain
Relation: parishioner

Lou gave his best to St. John the Baptist to the finish. A true Christian. Give Pat my best regards. The way things go these days it is a shame we can not give him a good send-off. Granville

Pages: 123

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