WAYCROSS — Willie Mae Crosby Thornton, 92, of Waycross, passed away Monday morning, July 19, 2021, at the Hospice Satilla Hospice House following an extended illness. Born March 6, 1929, in Bristol, Mrs. Thornton was a daughter of the late Thomas Gardner Crosby Sr. and Lizzie Smith Crosby. She lived many years in Patterson and was a 1946 graduate of Patterson High School. In high school, she was a star basketball player. Mrs. Thornton worked for 44 years for Swisher International in Waycross and had also been the secretary and treasurer of the union. She was a longtime member of Patterson United Methodist Church and had attended the Adult Sunday School Class. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Thornton was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Bernard Lamar Thornton; three great-grandchildren; her sister, Mae Dell Padgett; and three brothers, E.D. Padgett, D.C. Padgett, and T.G. Crosby Jr. Survivors include two daughters and sons-in-law, Jan and Dwight Strickland of Lizella, Ga., and Melinda and Mike Monroe of Waycross; four grandchildren, Melissa Spillers (husband Donald) of Roberta, Ga., Stephanie Grantham (the Rev. Chip) of Tifton, Stephen Strickland (wife Brandy) of Lizella, Ga., Lindy Monroe Tisdel (husband Matt) of Smyrna; seven great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews, Elizabeth Henry of Green Cove Springs, Fla., Kay Lane of Blackshear, Danny Padgett of Alma, Terry Crosby of Waycross, Denise Setser of Waycross, and Debbie Crosby of Waycross; and several great-nieces, nephews and other relatives. A funeral was held Friday morning July 23, in the chapel of Hart Funeral Home. Burial followed in Oakland Cemetery in Waycross. The family received friends one hour prior to the service Friday at the funeral home. Sympathy may be expressed by signing online at Hartfuneralhome.net Hart Funeral Home of Blackshear was in charge of arrangements.
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