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Josephine Thornton

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Josephine Thornton was the daughter of the late Judge Randolph Gordon Whittle and the late Josephine Parrott Whittle. Jo was born on March 21, 1940 in Roanoke, Virginia, the youngest of three children. After attending schools in Roanoke, she attended Mary Baldwin College. She married Stafford Thornton in 1963 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Roanoke, moved to Charlottesville and then on to West Virginia where they lived until 2001. They raised two sons, Will and Rives, and a daughter Suzanne from Stafford's first marriage. Upon retirement they moved to Whispering Pines, NC.

Jo loved to go. It didn't matter where, she would say yes to any invitation. She earned the nickname Go Jo. She played tennis, golf, volleyball as well as horseback riding and skiing. Jo also loved to travel. She and Stafford visited many countries during his tenure as President of ASCE.

During her time in West Virginia, Jo completed her baccalaureate at West Virginia Institute of Technology. She became the director of the community service classes and then assistant director of extension education at the college. She was later employed by Merchants National Bank in Montgomery, WV as administrative aide to the president and later was promoted the director of marketing.

Family was always an important part of Jo's life. She would plan trip every year to be with relatives in various parts of the country. She also was the planner and organizer of several family reunions.

After being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's in 2003, Jo continued to be active at the Country Club of Whispering Pines, traveling with her husband and doing volunteer work. In January 2010, Jo moved to Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living Facility in Southern Pines, NC. In 2011 she was moved to Tara Plantation in Carthage, NC where she quietly passed away March 15, 2013.

She is survived by her husband Stafford Thornton, son William and his wife Amy, son Rives and his partner Nina Spadaro, daughter Suzanne and her husband John Robert Garrett, brothers Randy and John Whittle, three grandchildren Carolyn Garrett, Ben and Josie Thornton, and many other family and friends.

Per Jo's wishes there will be a private burial in Roanoke VA. In lieu of flowers, friends and family can make a donation to the Alzheimer's Association.

Powell Funeral Home in Southern Pines, NC and Oakley's Funeral Service in Roanoke, VA are working together to assist the Thornton Family.