Joy James Thornton

By  | August 29, 2019 | Filed under: Loretto Memorial Chapel, Obituaries

On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Joy James Thornton left earth and moved to her new spiritual home in Heaven. Joy leaves a legacy of love for her husband Bill Thornton, her three sons and their wives, William (Bill) Thornton, Jr. and wife Cris, James Thornton and wife Rowena and Robert Thornton and wife Julie. Joy will be forever remembered and loved as “Jo-Jo” by her two granddaughters, who were named after her – Miette Lucille Thornton and Mary Joy Thornton. Joy had one brother, Eddie James, who passed in 2014 and leaves a lifetime of memories and love for sisters Diane Dowden and Sarah James Fisher, their husbands, children and grandchildren. Joy was loved by an extended family of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and cousins.

Since her birth on September 20, 1943 in Loretto, Tennessee, Joy lived a life filled with love, laughter and service. Joy was the oldest daughter of Mildred and Howard James. After meeting the love of her life, Bill at a basketball game in December 1960, Joy graduated from Loretto High School in May 1961. She then married Bill on August 29 of that same year and they moved to Dutch John, Utah to begin a lifetime filled with love and adventure. Joy and Bill would have celebrated their 58TH wedding anniversary on August 29.


Joy devoted herself to serving God her family and those in the communities she lived. She and Bill moved to Mobile AL in 1963 and added three sons to their family. Bills career took Joy and their sons from Mobile, AL to Virginia, Saudi Arabia, Wilmington, NC, back to Saudi Arabia, Omaha, Nebraska, and finally home to Alabama where they settled in Athens for the last 25 years. Joy was always at her husbands side supporting his career and raising their family as they traveled across the US and around the world.


Joy was a member of Parker Chapel United Methodist Church for almost 25 years, where she was active in Sunday School, worship services, charity and service projects, and loved by her church family .Joy was an excellent cook and was well known for her homemade sourdough bread and angel food cakes, which she baked and shared with friends, family and neighbors. Joy displayed her unshakeable faith, strength, and courage as she faced health challenges with optimism, knowing that everything that was going to be alright.


Friends Visitation will be held from 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 PM, Celebration of Life will be from 7:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. with music by Mike Cole on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at Parker Chapel United Methodist Church.


Funeral Services will be held Friday August 30, 2019 at 1:00 P.M. at Loretto Memorial Chapel with Bill Deiss officiating. With burial to follow in Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Friday August 30, 2019 at Loretto Memorial Chapel, Inc..


In Lieu of flowers, make donations to St Jude Childrens Hospital in Joy’s Honor.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cynefin Helen Keller Hospital Coldwater Inn
Champy's 306 Barbecue Pie Factory Smokin Jalapeno Goodilicious OTR