Thomas Joseph Thornton Jr.
March 31, 1946 – June 20, 2021
Thomas Joseph Thornton Jr., loving husband to Mary Ellen, dedicated father to T.J. (Amanda) and Ryan, grandfather to Alice Marie and Sam Thomas Thornton, passed away peacefully with family at home in Atlantis, FL on June 20th, 2021 from complications from Parkinson’s. In a beautifully poetic last gesture, it happened to be Father’s Day.
Tom was born in Brooklyn, New York on March 31st, 1946 with his parents Catherine and Thomas Thornton, his brother Bobby, and is survived by his sister Christine. Raised in Manhasset, NY where he attended St. Mary’s High School, he proceeded to complete his education at The University of Notre Dame and then went on to receive his MBA at LIU. A tried and true fan of all things Notre Dame, his enthusiasm for his alma mater was unwavering.
He served as a Commissioner in Manalapan, Florida for ten years and weaved his way through a fascinating professional career. He started at WR Grace as Peter Grace’s assistant, then advanced to mergers and acquisitions. Next he became CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware in California, followed by CEO jobs at home center Mr. Goodbuys, and gourmet food pioneer Dean and Deluca in New York City. Thomas then did consulting work for Campbell's Soup, Fouchon, Lindt Chocolate, Juniors Cheesecake, and Kluge Vineyards, among others. He completed his career as CEO of Carmine’s, Palm Beach Gardens. While busy growing these companies, he also took an interest in new products, often coming home with hardware gadgets and then, after switching industries, delicious foods--he was much more partial to the latter. Great stories were often more plentiful than the perishables; Soho, NYC in the 90s was a different place than it is today, and his accounts of the store, his colleagues and the neighborhood made for lively family dinners, of which he missed few. Tom worked hard to provide a lovely upbringing for his two sons in Princeton, New Jersey, and for that they are forever grateful.
He met his wife, Mary, in Manhasset and they were married in 1972. Mary was everything to him and he liked to say that he was the luckiest guy in the world to have her as his wife. Well, he was, because she is an absolute treasure, caring for him with great love until the very end and still somehow finding time for work, hobbies and grandkids.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Parkinson’s Foundation of Palm Beach County, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, Florida, 33131 or online at www.parkinson.org For more information you can call them at 561-206-3156
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Quattlebaum Funeral Home, 561-833-4061.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Edward Catholic Church, 144 North County Road, Palm Beach, 33480 on July 16th at 11:00 AM.
Sheila said she loved me, she said she’d never leave me, true love will never die. -Tommy Roe
Friday, July 16, 2021