(Oct. 4, 2003)
Cecil Thorington, 87, died peacefully in his sleep at the Powell Valley Care Center Saturday, Oct. 4.
He was born July 24, 1916, near Kirksville, Mo., the son of George and Amelia (Lovejoy) Thorington.
His father died when Cecil was very young. Since these were hard times and his mother could not care for him, he spent much of his youth in an orphanage in Davenport, Iowa.
Eventually he began working for and lived with a bachelor named John Werner on a farm near Statford, Iowa. Mr. Werner became a father to Cecil and helped him through high school. Although short at 5 feet, 8 inches, Cecil lettered in basketball and also football. He graduated from Stratford High School in 1936.
With Mr. Werner's help, Cecil went on to college at Iowa State University in Ames, graduating in 1939 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture with a teaching certificate.
About 1940, Cecil met his life's companion, Dorothy Marie Burns. They were married June 9, 1940, and shared each other's lives for the next 63 years.
Cecil and Dorothy worked a farm south of Stratford. While driving to town, they heard on the car radio that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. Cecil was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a Tech-Sergeant in charge of the motor pool. He was in the European theatre from 1942-1946, serving in and around Munich, Germany.
After the war, he returned to Stratford where he became an agricultural teacher. It was during this time that Dorothy bore Cecil a son they named Jay.
In 1949, Mr. Thorington wanted to put into practice what he had been teaching. Cecil and Dorothy settled on a farm they purchased northeast of Stratford. Besides raising corn, oats, alfalfa and soybeans, Cecil also raised cattle, sheep, pigs and broke a horse or two.
In 1953, their second child was born, a girl they named Joy.
In addition to farming, Cecil taught agricultural night classes to veterans of the Korean War. He was also active in the American Legion, the Lions and was a Mason. He was a Boy Scout leader, superintendent of Calvary Methodist Church in Stratford and was elected to the county school board in Hamilton County, Iowa.
Throughout his life, Cecil enjoyed sports, but was especially an avid fisherman. He bagged his share of whitetail while on the farm.
"Cec" and "Dot" operated the farm until 1980 when he retired. After selling the farm in Iowa, they followed their son to Montana. The chance to fish every day figured prominently in these plans. Although Cecil had not golfed until he retired, he won several tournaments while living in a house on the golf course at West Glacier, Mont.
When Jay's family moved to Wyoming, Cecil and Dorothy followed to Powell, where Cecil continued golfing for as long as he could.
Survivors include his wife Dorothy of Powell; his son Jay and wife Annette (Grabau) Thorington of Powell; daughter Joy Fjare and husband David of Council Bluffs, Iowa; his grandchildren, Zack and Dana (Dietz) Thorington of Powell, Pvt. Samuel Thorington of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., Matthew and Jennifer Fjare of Ohio and Emily Fjare of Council Bluffs, Iowa; great-grandchildren Hartly Thorington of Powell and Hannah and Mica Fjare of Ohio. Also surviving are two half-brothers, Frank of Iowa and Phil of California.
His brothers Perry, Raymond and Jess, and sisters Ester and Sarah preceded him in death.
Though many in Powell didn't know Cecil, his family in the Powell area, in Iowa, Ohio and California, will miss him as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother.
A military service will be held at a later date with re-burial in Iowa. Cremation has taken place.