EAST LIVERPOOL – East Liverpool native and area booster Keith Edwin Thornberry passed away peacefully Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the Cedar Hill Nursing Home in Windsor, Vermont near his son’s home following a lengthy illness. He was 87.
Keith was born in Newell, West Virginia on March 21, 1930, but moved to the East Liverpool area as a young boy, growing up on 6th Street. The son of the late Clifford and Helen Reed Thornberry and one of seven children, Keith was graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1948, and continued his education at Kent State University. A U.S. Navy veteran, Keith had served as a radio man on board a destroyer in the North Atlantic. He was a member of the VFW Post 66.
Following his military commitment, Keith became associated with Lincoln Electric Company in Cleveland, first as a welder, then working in the lab before becoming a sales engineer, serving in Pittsburgh and later as a district manager in Syracuse, New York, completing his career back in Pittsburgh, retiring after nearly 40 years. He had been an active member of the Beverly Heights United Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir and participating in the Men’s Bible Study and Prayer Group for many years while living in Pittsburgh. During his 40 plus years residing in Pittsburgh, Keith was an avid gardener and fisherman and financial supporter of numerous Presbyterian Missionaries worldwide.
Although he spent most of his adult life in the Pittsburgh area, Keith was always proud to be a “Potter”. Following the death of his wife, Carol, on February 25, 1995, Keith returned to the East Liverpool area and filled the void in his life by becoming immersed in volunteerism. An avid supporter of the East Liverpool Area YMCA, he, along with his brother Bill and nephew Scott Thornberry, also helped to build the Frank J. Mangano Track at East Liverpool High School and was an enthusiastic booster of the athletic programs at the High School as well as the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association.
Keith is survived by his son, Clifford Thornberry and his companion, Noel Bryant, of Cornish, New Hampshire, sister, Lois Doughty of Lewis Center, Ohio and brother Dale Thornberry and his wife, Judith, of Johnstown, Colorado.
Keith also leaves behind his beloved grandson, Brandon Thornberry and his wife, Katie, of Nashville, Tennessee, and his beloved granddaughter, Karyn Deluca of Memphis Tennessee and her husband Greg, along with a great-granddaughter, Ava Mae Thornberry and great-grandson, Henry James Thornberry. Another granddaughter and grandson are due soon.
Also surviving him are 27 nieces and nephews, all of whom he dearly loved.
Preceding him in death were three sisters, Arlene Thornberry, Jane Dorsey, and Mary Elaine Hoffman, a brother William C. Thornberry, and niece Kimberly Dorsey. He was also preceded in death by his faithful companion, Ruby Shelton Coleman.
Friends may visit Friday evening, May 19th at the Dawson Funeral Home where the family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m. Keith’s son, Clifford, brother, Dale and the Reverend Richard Wolling of Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church will conduct a funeral service Saturday, May 20th at noon at the funeral home.
Burial will take place at Locust Hill Cemetery in Chester, WV.
Following the service, friends and family will gather at the Dawson Family Center for fellowship and a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that, if so inclined, donations be made in Keith’s memory to the Keith Thornberry Memorial Mission Fund, c/o Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church, 1207 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228.