Lawrence Russel Thornock

Home: Salt Lake City, Utah
Death Date: May 3, 2017
Birthdate: January 23, 1924
Place Of Birth: Montpelier, Idaho
Service Information: Friday, May 12, 2017 2:00 PM
Service Location: All Saints Episcopal Church, 1710 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

Lawrence Russel Thornock + Enlarge

Lawrence Russel Thornock "Larry" passed from us the afternoon of May 3, 2017 at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife Mary; sons Russel (Kristin) and Roy (Joan); 7 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren. He was born to Lester and Alberta Thornock in Montpelier, Idaho, January 23, 1924 and spent his early years working with his siblings and parents on the Puritan dairy, serving Kemmerer, Wyoming, and surrounding areas. When the family moved to Jackson he chose to finish his senior year in Kemmerer working on the dairy and living in the bunkhouse.

Larry and Mary Helen Mason fell in love that year, planning to be married August 9, 1942; he was then earning good money as a coal miner but a fatality in the same mine room in which he was scheduled to work caused him to quit that job.  He started his Union Pacific career on August 8, tracking and weighing railroad cars and was married the following day on August 9. The wedding party of 6 drove to Idaho for a ceremony near Bear Lake and dinner at The Bluebird café in Logan, before returning to Kemmerer and work the very next day. 

In early 1943, he got his call to the war, training as an air cadet, graduating after managing a dead-stick crash landing in a twin engine trainer, and serving as a pilot, flying cargo and personnel around North Africa in the C-46.  After the war he would have liked to be a commercial pilot, however Mary (and now Russel) and a railroad job awaited him in Kemmerer, and he made one of his ever practical decisions.

Larry moved his family, now including Roy, to Cheyenne in 1952 and the boys were raised there while he regularly commuted to Western Wyoming, as the local U. P. Traffic Agent. About the time Russ and Roy went on their own, Larry began to receive a succession of promotions, taking him and Mary to Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and eventually Omaha, where he retired in 1984 as U.P. Traffic Manager.  In retirement, they lived in Sandy, Utah.  Wherever he was, he shared his administrative talent with the churches they attended, finally at All Saints' Episcopal, where he served on the vestry.

His courage in the face of physical adversity has been an inspiration to his family. He suffered from macular degeneration and one night, with no one asking him to do so, he turned the car keys over to Mary. Loss of sight and mobility brought him to enjoy books on tape and occasional lunches with good friends. He once said, "I'm not the man I used to be", and he was informed that, in one sense, he was correct - he was even more.

A service for Larry will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1710 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday May 12th at 2:00 PM. 

In lieu of flowers Larry's family asks donations be made to a blindness related charity.

Please check back soon for updated service information. 

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