Royce Thornton

December 9, 1940 - October 23, 2023


Royce “Coach” Thornton of Texarkana, Texas, was born December 9, 1940 in Longview, Texas, to Royce Sr. and Cleda Thornton. Royce was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Diane Fowler.

On June 29, 1963, Royce married Mary Lou in Grand Saline, Texas. Cherished lifetime memories are shared by his children, Molly Elizabeth Larson, and husband Eric; Jeremy Porter Thornton and wife Kathyrn Leigh; daughter, Meghann Vivian Crane; grandchildren, Mallory Elizabeth Elkins, and husband Bryan, Hanna Leigh Pate, Charles Edward (Chet) Thornton, Mary (Mattie) Agnes Thornton, Thornton Rix and Josie Page Crane; great-grandchildren, Harris Hunter Smith, Claire Elizabeth and Lucy Pate Elkins; and brother-in-law, Dr. Littleton Fowler.
Royce’s mantra can be summed up with the words, “I am third.” He always put God and his church first. He was a man of few words, but he had a deep faith. Royce was a member of Hardy Memorial Methodist Church for 57 years. Second in line were his family and friends, and he always put himself last. Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you? But To do justly, To love mercy, and To walk humbly with your God?”

His coaching career spanned over 35 years. Not only was he a good coach but a great teacher. He was passionate about his work and about every student athlete whose lives he touched.

One of Royce’s favorite pastimes was traveling. Trips to Florida began in the 70s, and it became a second home to the whole family. Another favorite road trip was to the New England states with Mary Lou in search of covered bridges and Autumn leaves. Our family is blessed to know he has made his final trip to his eternal destination.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Hardy Methodist Church with a visitation to follow.

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