James H. Thornton, 85

Published 9:05 am Monday, March 1, 2021

James H. “Skeeta” Thornton, 85, passed away Sunday morning, February 28, 2021, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.

Funeral services were Friday, March 5, at Mt Olivet United Methodist Church with interment at Rose Hill Cemetery. The family received friends Thursday evening, March 4, at Wells Funeral Home.

James was born June 3, 1935, to the late Emil “Skeeter” Eugene Thornton and Addie Doris Taylor Thornton in Sardis.

Skeeta, as James was known, worked as a highway construction inspector for the MS Highway Department, Lehman Roberts Co., and Michael Baker Co. during his lifetime before retirement.  He was a faithful member of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church. He was an athlete in all sports in high school, and particularly loved baseball.

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Skeeta was proud of his ancestry and spent many hours researching his genealogy and passing it on to all generations. He also enjoyed fishing, gardening, and could spin a tale, recount jokes, and fondly recall stories of friends and family.

The loving family he leaves behind to cherish his precious memory include his four daughters, Donna Kay Hess (Larry) of Savannah, GA, Nancy Lynn Thornton of Tequesta, FL, Jo Anna Enten (Tim) of Charlotte, NC, and Jennifer Leigh Parsons (Randy) of Memphis; five grandchildren, Michael B. Kelly, Haley P. Enten, Matthew T. Enten, Audrey B. Garrett, and Donna Grace Garrett.

Besides his parents, Skeeta was preceded in death by his first wife, Donna Parker Thornton; his second wife, Bonnie Taylor Thornton; and brother Emil Eugene “Gene” Thornton, II.

Memorial contributions in Skeeta’s honor may be made to Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, 60 Hunt Rd. Batesville, MS 38606.