Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - News -

Ann Frances Thorn­ton, 95, of Merced, passed away on Oc­to­ber 19, 2018, sur­rounded by her chil­dren. A beloved wife, mother, grand­mother, great­grand­mother, and friend to many, Ann had a quick wit and the spe­cial gift of mak­ing ev­ery­one feel com­fort­able in her pres­ence.

Born on May 2, 1923, in Chicago, Illi­nois, to Patrick and Ann Sta­ple­ton, Ann was the third of seven chil­dren in a fam­ily that cel­e­brated their Ir­ish her­itage which Ann was proud of her en­tire life. Ann grad­u­ated from St. Casimir Catholic High School and shortly there­after met the love of her life, Jewell Fran­cis Thorn­ton, at a movie the­ater. They mar­ried in Jan­uary, 1943, in Sil­ver Spring, Mary­land, where Jewell was sta­tioned with the US Navy. Dur­ing Jewell’s ser­vice, they were also sta­tioned in San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia, where they fell in love with the Golden State. When the op­por­tu­nity to move from Chicago to Cal­i­for­nia arose through Jewell’s job at the tele­phone com­pany, they jumped at the chance. In 1952, Ann and Jewell and their three young chil­dren set­tled in Merced. They wel­comed two more chil­dren, and all five chil­dren at­tended Our Lady of Mercy School, where Ann was very in­volved in school ac­tiv­i­ties and func­tions. Ann was a woman of strong faith and a mem­ber of OLM/St. Patrick’s par­ish for the du­ra­tion of her life.

Dur­ing her early years in Merced, Ann worked as wait­ress at Reinero’s and the Joaquin Club, and later as a sales as­sis­tant at Ste­fani’s – all op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ann’s charm and wit to shine. Ann vol­un­teered for years at the St. Vin­cent de Paul thrift shop, which her fam­ily re­ferred to as “Nana’s Bou­tique,” as she was known to pro­cure sev­eral items for her chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

Ann was an avid reader, and she loved go­ing to the movies and play­ing card games. In her later years, she never missed a Bingo game. Known for her le­gendary ham­burg­ers, gravy, and love of Dove ice cream bars, no one ever left Ann’s ta­ble hun­gry. Ann loved get­ting ma­ni­pedis and did not shy away from bold nail col­ors. Ann al­ways had fun, loved to laugh, and reg­u­larly cap­ti­vated her fam­ily and friends with hi­lar­i­ous sto­ries.

Ann is pre­ceded in death by her par­ents, Patrick and Ann Sta­ple­ton; hus­band, Jewell Thorn­ton; in­fant son, Michael; broth­ers, Tom and Jim Sta­ple­ton; sis­ters, Pa­tri­cia Te­beau and Loretta Graber; and son-in-law, Tom Fer­rari. Long the beloved ma­tri­arch of her fam­ily, Ann is sur­vived by her chil­dren, Don Thorn­ton, Mar­cia Fer­rari (Chris Tom­ford), Di­ane Pap­pas (Paul), all res­i­dents of Merced; Therese Stevens (Clark) of Med­ford, Ore­gon; and Jim Thorn­ton (JoEllen) of Lin­coln, Cal­i­for­nia; 12 grand­chil­dren; 5 great-grand­chil­dren; sis­ter, Mary Burns of Phoenix, Ari­zona; and brother Jack Sta­ple­ton of Chicago, Illi­nois; sev­eral nieces and nephews; and nu­mer­ous friends. Ann will be dearly missed by her fam­ily and friends, es­pe­cially the “Curves Girls”. Ann was a res­i­dent of Park Merced As­sisted Liv­ing for the past four years, where she made sev­eral won­der­ful friends and was lov­ingly cared for by the Park Merced staff. Ann’s fam­ily wishes to thank Hinds Hos­pice and the Park Merced staff for the ex­cep­tional care pro­vided to Ann dur­ing her fi­nal days.

A memo­rial ser­vice will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 459 W 21st St, Merced, on Sat­ur­day, Novem­ber 3, 2018, at 9am, with the rosary to start at 8:30am. In­ter­ment will fol­low at Ev­er­green Memo­rial Park lo­cated at 1480 B Street, Merced, Cal­i­for­nia 95341. Con­tri­bu­tions in Ann’s me­mory can be made to the St. Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety, 131 W Main St, Merced, CA 95340; the OLM School Foun­da­tion, PO Box 3621, Merced, CA 95344; the Na­tional Shrine of St. Jude Clare­tian Mis­sion­ar­ies, 205 West Mon­roe St, Chicago, IL 60606; or New Be­gin­nings for Merced County An­i­mals, PO Box 1045, Win­ton, CA 95388.


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