Roland LW Thurston

Roland LW Thurston

WAYCROSS — Roland LW Thurston passed away Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at home in Waycross at the age of 81.

Thurston was born July 25, 1940, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Edwin Ross and Helen Woods Thurston. The family eventually moved to California where he and his siblings went to school while their father worked as a manual typesetter at the city’s newspaper.

Thurston graduated from Morningside High School Class of 1958, and with a letter from his parents, allowing him to do so, entered the United States Marine Corps on February 4, 1958, at the young age of 17. He served one year, one month and 18 days before the Marine Corp realized Thurston was deaf in his left ear. He served patriotically, and was and will always be a Marine.

Thurston married and had two children in California, Roger and Christy Thurston. He wore many hats in California, including insurance agent, PTA president and soccer coach at his children’s schools, which he enjoyed so very much. He was always immersed in his children’s and many other children’s lives.

He was a body builder on Venice Beach, triathlete, and also an extra in a movie called “Pumping Iron” with his friends Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. Thurston owned a convenience store with his young family, where he served the community as store merchant.

He also served as a hairdresser and artist, where he excelled in painting murals in schools, shops and art galleries. Thurston dabbled in real estate obtaining a California license.

He was married to his first wife for 16 years. They parted ways, but Thurston’s two kids remained close and shared many wonderful times as he raised them to adulthood. He met and married his true love, Sandra Dixon Thurston, on May 22, 1987, and together moved back to Waycross where he called “home.”

Thurston immersed himself in the community art theatre guilds, and volunteered with numerous organizations. He had been involved with raising Sandi’s boys and loved their families until his passing. Thurston loved his children, grandchildren and friends, old and young. He was an amazing man, artist, friend and family man.

Thurston is survived by his son, Roger Thurston, and daughter, Christy Thurston; stepsons, Michael Davis and Bryan Davis; brother, Boyd Thurston; sealed sister, Gloria Pratt; sister-in-law, Shiree Thurston; grandchildren, Chance, Rock, Dominic, Justin, Myra, Katy, Abby and Alex; daughters-in-law, Marianne, Vera and Jennifer; nephew, John Domiano; niece, Kelly Lee; and countless other nieces, nephews and cousins all over the world that he cherished.

Thurston was preceded in death by the love of his life, Sandra Dixon Thurston; his parents, Edwin Ross and Helen Woods Thurston; his second mom, Ruth Hartley; one brother, Edward Thurston; three sisters, Rosemary Thurston, Nancy Thurston and Marie Thurston; a sealed sister, Carolyn Pratt; and a brother-in-law, Raymond Domiano.

A memorial service celebrating Thurston’s life was held Saturday, November 20, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.