Frank Thornton, 91

May 21, 2019

Frank Thornton 91 years old of Lancaster, PA passed on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Born in Struthers, Ohio to the late Joseph R. Thornton and Phyllis (Maley) Thornton (Filomenia (Melito) Thornton). He was the loving husband to Patricia (Armstrong) Thornton whom preceded him in death. They were blessed to spend 59 years together as a couple. Frank graduated from Struthers High School and Youngstown State University. Frank was the first of his family to graduate college.

In 1945 Frank was in the Marines he did his basic training in Cherry Point, NC and was serving in San Francisco on a Troop Ship when the atomic bomb was dropped in WWII. After the war, Frank went home and on to graduate high school in 1946. He then attended Youngstown State University from 1947 – 1951. While at YSU, Frank was a local football star, he played End on Offense and Defensive Tackle. After graduation from College, Frank enlisted in the Army; he served from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War. He played Football for the Army Team stateside.

Frank worked in the steel mills and odd jobs through lower school and college. He went on to a successful career in the Automatic Sprinkler Business. He started out at Automatic Sprinkler where he met his beloved Patsy. His career took him across the east coast in the Sprinkler Industry. Commonwealth Fire Protection brought him to Lancaster, PA 42 years ago. Frank retired from Oliver Sprinkler Company in King 0f Prussia, PA. After retirement, Frank used his expertise to train others in drafting, installation and implementation of sprinkler systems.

Frank enjoyed spending time with family and friends. He was always up for adventure, conversation and a good laugh. Golf, football, bowling, home projects, the beach, picking crabs and eating wings are a few of the activities that Frank enjoyed. Frank’s grandchildren and all the neighborhood kids brought him an abundance of joy. Always taking an interest in their activities; he was their greatest fan! Frank’s advice will live on in all who crossed his path.

Frank is survived by two daughters, Mary Katherine Woodruff wife of Mark of Hockessin, DE, Maureen F. Files wife of Steven of Lancaster and three grandchildren, Nicole, Katherine, and Lauren. Also surviving are his brother Donald Thornton and wife Carmel of Boardman, OH, his brother -in- laws, Patrick Charles Armstrong husband of Diane of Canfield, OH and Robert Armstrong of FL, and sister-in-law, Cheryl Armstrong of New Jersey as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two sisters, Phyllis Mahoney and Marge Varsho.

A Celebration of Frank’s life will be held at 11:30AM on Friday, June 14, 2019 at the Charles F. Snyder, Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543, followed by Military Honors. Friends and family will be received from 10AM until the time of service. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.

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Condolences to the Family

June 03, 2019

To all of Frank’s beautiful family – We are so sorry that your dad/grandfather is gone. It is a tough time for you. We also loved him so much and will miss him terribly. On a happy note he is probably up there reunited with the love of his life, your mom. Time does ease the pain you are feeling now. We will see you soon.
Lots of love
Jan and Paul

Friday, June 14, 2019
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
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Friday, June 14, 2019
11:30 AM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
3110 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
Map and Directions

Get Maps and Directions >
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  • Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home Downtown Lancaster
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  • Charles F. (Chip) Snyder, Jr. Funeral Director / Supervisor
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