The Ukiah Daily Journal

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Rene Charles “Chuck” Thornhill, 74, of Redwood Valley, California, passed away peacefully on February 13th, 2023 with his loved ones by his side.

Chuck was born on April 14th, 1948, in Chars, France. He spent his first 10 years in France and then was adopted by cousins Alice and Felix Thornhill, along with his brother Lucien. They were brought overseas to Ukiah, California where they would live the remainder of their childhood.

In September of 1964, his high school romance began with Susan Lewis which would go on to last a wonderful 58 years. Chuck entered the United States Air Force on May 1st, 1967 and went to Nakhon Phanom, Thailand where he would become a munitions maintenanc­e expert in the Vietnam War. It was there that he was exposed to agent orange which would eventually take his life. In December 1968, Chuck and Susan were married and left to Lakenheath, England where they would spend 4 years. While there, Chuck had the distinct honor of being sent to a secret undergroun­d base in Europe to rotate nuclear weapons. Chuck and Sue then went on to have 4 daughters, Stephanie, Tina, Lisa, and Mandy. They eventually landed back in Mendocino County where they still remain today.

He went on to become Vice President of Aeris Corporatio­n, an industrial gas supplier for 30 years. He retired in 2009 and later became a partner in Slam Dunk Pizza. He was also a devoted member of the Ukiah Host Lions for 40 years, President of the Ukiah Lions Youth Football and Cheer program for 20, and chaired the Lions Easter egg hunt for 30 years. He spent his days after retiring traveling with his wife Sue, woodworkin­g, and doing anything outdoors.

Chuck was a devoted father, grandfathe­r, and recently had become a great grandfathe­r. He was always the first one to arrive when any family member needed him, their #1 cheerleade­r at any event or milestone, and most of all gave the biggest bear hugs that could make any of their days brighter. Chuck had a heart as big as the sea and never fell short of showing that in support of his family, friends, loved ones, and community. He was a deeply faithful and spiritual man, involved in many church activities at the New Life Community Church. He was always led by God and did so until his last moments. Any person who got the

yp g pleasure of knowing Chuck, knows how deeply he will be missed not only by his family but the community of Ukiah.

The path before him was cleared by his parents Alice and Felix Thornhill as well as his daughter Lisa Thornhill Sarkela. He is survived by his wife of 54 years Susan Thornhill, daughters Stephanie (Matthew) Dunken, Tina (Mike) Leslie, and Mandy (Robert) Hamblen. His 9 grandchild­ren Noelle Dunken, Breann Garcia, Chase Dunken, Manuel Dunken, Emma Hamblen, Xander Sarkela, Ava Hamblen, Leila Hamblen, and Carter Hamblen. His great granddaugh­ter Paisleigh Dunken, and his brother Lucien Thornhill and family. 9

Services in his memory will be held at New Life Community Church (750 Yosemite Dr, Ukiah, CA 95482) on Tuesday, February 21st, at 11am. Following services, a celebratio­n of life will be held at Carl Purdy Hall (1055 N State St, Ukiah, CA 95482). A viewing will also be held at Eversole Mortuary on Sunday, February 19th, from 3-6pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations to the Thornhill Family Scholarshi­p Fund created in Chuck’s honor, which may be collected at the reception or mailed to P.O. Box 268, Redwood Valley, CA 95470

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