Obituary of Charles Donald Thornton
Charles Donald Thornton, 80, of New Maryland, New Brunswick, passed away September 10th, 2022, after a long and valiant battle with cancer.
Charles was born in Perth, Ontario, to Arthur William and Frances Barbara (Donald) Thornton. From his earliest youth he showed an interest in science, technology, and engineering, from building backyard rockets to crafting a working laser. Charles graduated from Sir George Williams University (Concordia) with a BSc. in 1963, and from MacDonald College (McGill) with a Diploma in Education in 1964. His initial career focused on sharing his passion as a high school teacher of physics and chemistry in Montreal. He pursued a Master’s degree in Administration at the University of New Brunswick (1972), and spent the next three decades there in Research Administration helping further academic research with an international reach. Not one to ever consider retirement, Charles next moved into the corporate world, becoming Vice President Operations for EMR Microwave Technology Corporation.
Along the way he became deeply involved in the Anglican church locally, first at St. Margaret’s (Fredericton), and lastly at Holy Trinity (Nasonworth), serving as Warden, and as member of several prayer and faith groups.
Charles was unsparingly generous with his time and talent, always ready to help out with repairs, restorations, and renovations for family, friends, churches, and even strangers. His talent for design and construction, particularly in woodworking, surpassed mere hobby, becoming a true vocation. He crafted the altars for both the Lady chapel at Christ Church Cathedral and later for St. Margaret’s in Fredericton; the former in the midst of a move he was making between two homes he renovated from cellar to rooftop. His woodworking skills led Tim Isaac, the great art & antiques auctioneer to declare him a master craftsman, describing his restoration work as indistinguishable from the finest curated originals.
Following his daughter Jane’s passion for rowing, Charles became deeply involved in the rowing community both locally and nationally through Rowing Canada, as participant, licensed umpire and keen administrator. His commitment, attention to detail, and care of athletes as umpire earned him recognition as Official of the Year 2000 from Rowing Canada.
He is predeceased by his parents; uncle, Ian Donald; aunt Eileen Medley (Charlie), and former wife Patricia Pacey, mother to his children. He is survived by his daughters, Anne (Anthony Lewis) and Jane (Alan Oldham), and longtime “apartner” Barbara Bird. He was a GLEEful grandad to his four grandchildren, Gabriel, Luke, Emmett, and Eleanor, and shared with them his passions for woodworking, science, and technology. Especially LASERS.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses of the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital who assisted with his care, most particularly the staff of 4SE.
A funeral service to celebrate Charles’ life will be held at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Nasonworth on Friday, September 16th at 10 am, followed by the interment of his ashes in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin's cemetery in New Maryland. The service will be livestreamed via Holy Trinity’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/holytrinitynasonworth . In lieu of flowers, donations in Charles’ memory can be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.