Cover photo for Ethel Thornton's Obituary
Ethel Thornton Profile Photo
1926 Ethel 2020

Ethel Thornton

July 14, 1926 — August 9, 2020

Overland Park

Ethel A. (Turner) Thornton of Overland Park, KS passed away peacefully August 9, 2020 in her home at Village Shalom.

Born July 14, 1926 of honest hardworking parents on their Northwestern Oklahoma farm.  She was taught a deep sense of right and wrong, sensitivity and respect for others.

Ethel and her siblings graduated from Freedom Oklahoma High School and three of them went on to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma.  Ethel graduated with a BS degree in Education and Home Economics.

She taught elementary students in Liberal, KS and Olathe, KS also middle schoolers in Kansas City, MO for a total of 29 years.

Ethel wrote, “I have former pupils throughout the country.  It would be interesting to know about each and every one.  I do know of a few teachers, nurses and some doctors among them and many vocations I didn’t even know existed at the time?  But, whatever they have chosen as their life’s work, I am proud to have been a part of even one little step in those lives: that of their teacher.”

During her life she also worked at K.U. Medical Center and volunteered at St. Joseph Hospital, both in Kansas City, MO.

Ethel is preceded in death by her parents, Valma A. and Melville A. Gibson of Alva, OK, her siblings Dewey L. Finley of Horse Cave, TN, Dean Gibson of Tucson, AZ, and Jeanne Hepner of Freedom, OK.

She is survived by her daughter Lee Anne Snozek and husband Milan of Valley Park, MO, daughter Clariessa Sessel and husband Paul of Leawood, KS; sons Melville R. Turner of Overland Park, KS, and Lane Allen Turner and wife Kim of Castle Rock, CO.

Ethel was proud of her nine great grandchildren as well; Emily R. Lane of Memphis, TN, Alexander T. Heath of Austin, TX, Jacob Heath of Lawrence, KS, Ben and Anna Snozek of Scottsdale AZ, Lennox, Marek, Roman and Kira Snozek of Wentzville, MO.

She is also survived by her brother-in-law Harold Dean Hepner of Freedom, OK, his son Lyndon and wife Susan of Morre, OK, and their children Jonathon and Lyndsay; his daughter Sharon and husband Ty Harper of Freedom, OK and their daughters, Kristen, Kelsey and Kylee, Marsha Finley and Don Finley; Fred A., Deana, and Tracey Gibson, Jan Buitron and her daughters, Katherine and Gayla; and their children.

I would like others to say of me, “Ethel was a good mother, a good teacher, and a good person.”

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ethel Thornton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Gathering of Family of Friends

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

Johnson County Funeral Chapel

11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66210

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Graveside Services and Interment

Friday, August 14, 2020

10:30 - 11:00am (Central time)

Johnson County Memorial Gardens


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