Wilmer William Thornberry


(Oct. 20, 1923 – Jan. 8, 2011)

Wilmer William Thornberry of Greybull died at his home Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. He was 87.

Wilmer was born in Hannibal, Mo., on Oct. 20, 1923, to Wade and Cleora (Woollen) Thornberry. 

In 1929 the family left Missouri and homesteaded in the Willwood area outside of Powell. He graduated from Powell High School, where he excelled as a football player. During his senior year, he was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl but was unable to participate. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, stationed in Kobe, Japan. His name is engraved among the veterans on the World War II Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

On March 6, 1954, he married Opal Leora Webster in Laramie. The couple moved to Greybull in 1955 where they raised two sons.  He was employed as a heavy equipment operator for most of his career by Jones, Hinckley and Jones Construction and Halliburton (M-I Swaco) where he eventually retired as a foreman.

Wilmer was a member of the Elks BPOE Lodge No. 1431 in Greybull. He enjoyed camping, the mountains, puttering in his garage and spending time with his family. But his favorite pastime was fishing with his good friend, Jack Carlton. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Harold and Earl; and sisters, Helen, Ruth and Frances.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Leora of Greybull; two sons, Steven (Tammy) of Greybull and Roger (Cindy) of Gillette; one brother, Gerald (LaVaughn) of Fort Apache, Ariz.; grandchildren, Chad, Sara, and Dylan Thornberry; step-grandchildren, Nikole (Tyrell) DeWitt and Shane Greene; and two step-great-grandchildren, Dade Greene and Izak Newman.

Cremation has taken place.  A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Atwood Family Chapel in Greybull with Pastor Kent Dempsey officiating. A reception will follow the service at the Elks BPOE Lodge No. 1431 in Greybull.

Memorials to benefit the New Hope Humane Society at Worland may be made at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 471, Greybull, WY 82426.

Atwood Family Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.