Clarence Gould Thornton
Born Aug. 3, 1925 — died
Oct. 11, 2012 Clarence Gould Thornton, Ph.D., age 87, of Freehold Township, died on Oct. 11, 2012. His life’s journey was one of distinction and accomp l i s h ment with many stops along the way.
Dr. Thornton was born in Detroit, Mich., on Aug. 3, 1925. He served in the Navy in the Second World War in WKH AViD 3DFifiF AUHD &DPpaign and was stationed in Shanghai at the conclusion of the war. rpon his return to the States, Dr. Thornton earned a B.S. in chemistry, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the rniversity of Michigan, setting the stage for a long and accomplished career characterized by creative imagination, dynamic leadership and keen insight.
Dr. Thornton was internationally recognized through both industry and government positions for his many SHUVRnDO VFiHnWifiF DnG WHFKnical contributions. He directed major programs in semiconductor devices, condensed-matter physics, integrated electronics, electron tubes, displays, high-energy electronics, power sources and electronic materials. Early in his career, Dr. Thornton served as section head at Sylvania Electronic Products and director of microelectronics research and engineering at Philco-Ford. While there, he led the development and SURGuFWiRn RI WKH fiUVW LDUJH Scale Integrated Circuits for the National Security Agency for secure communications. In 1972, he joined the Federal Services, serving as director of the Electronics TechnolRJy DnG DHviFHV LDERUDWRUy at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Dr. Thornton’s personal FRnWUiEuWiRnV PDGH D ViJnificant impact on the Army’s DEiOiWy WR fiJKW DnG win Rn D modern high-technology batWOHfiHOG. HH wDV WKH GHvHORSHU RI WKH fiUVW vHUy-KiJK-IUHTuHncy transistors, which made it possible to build reliable radios for the Army. He also esWDEOiVKHG WKH fiUVW DuWRPDWHG manufacturing processes for producing these devices at affordable cost. For these and IRU KiV VuEVHTuHnW FRnWUiEutions in government services, he received the Armed Forces Communications Association Gold Medal.
Throughout his career, Dr. Thornton’s efforts greatly accelerated the application of advanced technology in secure communications, high resolution radar, smart missiles and electronic warfare systems, for which he was decorated for Exceptional Civilian Service by the Secretary of the Army. In 1987, Dr. Thornton was appointed by President Reagan to the rank of distinguished executive in the Senior Executive Service. He was also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Additional awards included the Army RCD Achievement Award, the IEEE Centennial Medal, and the Crozier Prize IRU VFiHnWifiF FRnWUiEuWiRn. ,n 1994, he was awarded the ,((( (nJinHHUinJ LHDGHUship Recognition Award for 6FiHnWifiF DnG 0DnDJHPHnW LHDGHUVKiS in GHvHORSinJ military technologies and transitioning these developments to industry and academia.
Beyond his many professional accomplishments, Dr. Thornton was very active in his community. As a member of the Monmouth Boat Club, he raced his sailboat, Excalibur, to victory on many occasions. He was also a golf enthusiast, playing for a number of years at the Colts Neck GROI &OuE. LDWHU in OiIH, KH began an active campaign to collect and sell lost golf balls Rn WKH FRuUVH WR EHnHfiW ORFDO charities. Dr. Thornton was also very active in the Colts Neck Reformed Church.
While pursuing life with a passion, Clare’s most important role was husband to his wife, Gloria, a true life partner. Among his many accomplishments, he was proudest of his family. He leaves behind Gloria; his son, Richard Scott and wife hathleen; daughter Susan Carol and husband Nigel; four grandchildren, Christine and husband John, Michael, Elizabeth, and Andrew; and one great grandson, Bennett.
The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 20, at the Colts Neck Reformed Church, 72 County Road 537, Colts Neck, NJ 07722. Friends and family will be received from 9-10 a.m. and after the service.
In memory of this remarkDEOH PDn, DnG in OiHu RI flRwers, contributions can be made to the Colts Neck Reformed Church at the above address.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Clayton C McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold Township.
For directions, information or condolence messages to the family, please visit www. claytonfuneralhome.com.