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Obituary for Sarah Nell "Miss Nell" Thornton
Sarah Nell “Miss Nell” Thornton Jackson
Sarah Nell Thornton, 92, went home to Jesus, her Lord and Savior, from her earthy home Sunday, June 3, 2018 after a full and well lived life.
Mrs. Thornton was born on May 25 1926, the daughter of the late Marion Marcellus “Cell” Horton and Dora Belle Meador Horton. She lived her early life in Hubert, Arkansas and Union, MS. Her family moved to Conehatta where she graduated as valedictorian of Newton County Agricultural High School in Decatur. She continued her education at East Central Junior College where she was chosen as a campus beauty.
Her parents brought her up in a Christian home and how to Jesus and serve others by offering hospitality to all. She was shaped by her family, church and community.
She married Johnnie Thornton Jr., a decorated war veteran and POW when he returned from WWII.
She spent one summer at Mississippi Ordinance Plant on the Assembly supporting the War effort and worked for the State Board of Health and was Junior Technician at the American Red Cross Blood Center during the Korean War.
Johnnie met Nell when she was 12 and he was 19 she said “ I waited for her to grow up so I could marry her.” Johnnie later became a homebuilder in the Jackson area. Johnnie and Nell had one daughter, Johnnie Denise Thornton whom the called “our miracle baby” as they had prayed for a child for over 10 years before her birth. Throughout Nell’s life she was known best for her acts of service and kindness. She loved to cook and was known for bringing huge baskets full of home cook meals, pound cakes and peanut brittle to the sick and grieving.
She was a member of Colonial Heights Baptist Church for 54 years where she worked at the with the Mother’s Morning Out program and taught the 3 and 4 year olds about Jesus and his love for them. She was lovingly known as “Miss Nell” by all who knew her.
She shared “those were those most rewarding years of my life, teaching the little ones about the love of Jesus.” Through the years she also sang in the choir, taught Vacation Bible School and Training Union.
Nell said “I love to work in my yard. Listening to the many sounds of the many sounds and voices speaking to her. I felt close The Maker of all creatures on Earth this was my therapy.” Nell loved sharing pass along plants.
Nell was an avid reader enjoying reading her Bible and even murder mystery. She and Denise enjoyed many nights Murder She Wrote. They played Canasta many nights beginning at midnight and playing to sunrise. Nell always had a keen mind.
She enjoyed many years of fellowship with her monthly lunch bunch friends. .Along with her parents, Nell is preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie Horton, Jr., Siblings, Rogers Fred and Arlin Horton, and Hazel Shaw.
Nell is survived by her only daughter, Johnnie Denis Thornton of Jackson sisters-in-law: Margie Kelly and Angie Horton; many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Many thanks to: Rev John Patterson; dear Christian friends, faithful church friends, and loving caregivers-all who offered love , prayers and encouragement.
Because of Nell’s love for all children and her burden for the children of Africa that they have clean water, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Clean Water for Malawi, PO Box 13815, Jackson, MS 39236. 601-206-1696.
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at Colonial Heights Baptist Church with visitation beginning at 12 Noon at the church.
Denise said of her mother “she taught me how to love Jesus, love others and to share the love of Jesus to all you meet.”