Frances Carolyn Thornton

Born on May 13, 1928

Departed on September 7, 2015 and resided in Dunwoody, GA

Frances Carolyn Phillips Thornton passed away on Sept 7th 2015 in her home in Dunwoody GA. By her side were husband Garrett, daughter Lyn and son in law, Dan.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years , Dr Garrett W. Thornton Jr., son Spencer Thornton, daughter Lyn Thornton Peterson & her husband Daniel Peterson, grandchildren Alexander Stephen Wyche & his wife Katie Wyche, Christopher Phillip Wyche, Hunter Vincent Thornton, her sisters, Gwen Nix and Camille Williamson and a lifetime of relatives and friends.

Born in Brunswick, GA to George Tharin Phillips and Evelyn Easters Phillips, "Fran" and her two younger sisters Gwen and Camille grew up in Savannah, GA. During her lifetime Fran wore many hats: An avid swimmer, camp counselor, teacher, big sister, mother, wife with a passion for painting, studied at Valdosta State College and the Savannah College of Art before moving to Abingdon, VA to work for the US Air Force at the Pentagon.

They courted, married and soon moved to Athens, GA where Garrett attended the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine and she attended to the needs of their two children born while he studied. The family relocated to Atlanta in 1959 and eventually opened a family veterinary practice, Thornton Animal Clinic in Chamblee, GA.

Fran embraced a life filled with family, hard work, adventure and of diverse interests. She was a nature lover, a hunter, an artist, a mother, a Sunday school teacher, a world traveler, a sister, a trophy-winning skeet shooter, a grandmother, a member of the Riverbend Gun Club & the Kingsley Garden Club and a proud DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution. She is loved, missed and remembered by the multitudes of family and friends whom she touched, challenged, amused and inspired with her no-nonsense demeanor, old-fashioned ingenuity and southern-bred wit and charm.

Memorial service will be held Friday, September 11th, 2015 at 1:00pm. Christ The
King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092.
Ph 770-449-1211. There will be a reception immediately following at the Fellowship Hall.


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Guestbook Entries

  1. Sandra and Crawford Thomas September 8, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Thornton by way of my brother Dan Peterson who is married to her daughter Lyn. She was very delightful to converse with and through speaking with her about her life experiences it was evident that she had many great memories along the way. Our condolences go out to the Thornton family and to my brother Dan. We know she will be greatly missed. Sandy and Corky Thomas

  2. Sandra and Crawford Thomas September 8, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Thornton by way of my brother Dan Peterson who is married to her daughter Lyn. She was very delightful to converse with and through speaking with her about her life experiences it was evident that she had many great memories along the way. Our condolences go out to the Thornton family and to my brother Dan. We know she will be greatly missed. Sandy and Corky Thomas

  3. Melissa September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I have known the Thornton’s over 53 years. Mrs. Thornton was like another Mother to me. She was a genuine Southern lady and will be greatly missed – and those of us lucky enough to have known her will cherish our memories. RIP Fran – you fought a long and hard battle with grace, dignity, spunk and some laughter too. I’ll be adding yet another angel to my garden. LOVE YOU – Thanks for the memories. You will always remain in my head and heart. Melissa

  4. Melissa September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I have known the Thornton’s over 53 years. Mrs. Thornton was like another Mother to me. She was a genuine Southern lady and will be greatly missed – and those of us lucky enough to have known her will cherish our memories. RIP Fran – you fought a long and hard battle with grace, dignity, spunk and some laughter too. I’ll be adding yet another angel to my garden. LOVE YOU – Thanks for the memories. You will always remain in my head and heart. Melissa

  5. James Crissey September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Garrett: Please accept my deepest sympathy. Both you and Fran were a great part of my life when Timber and I married and enjoyed yours and Fran’s friendship with us and the entire Howard Smith family. Fran will be missed. Our fond memories remain.

  6. Sandy Shore Durick September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Dear Lyn and family,
    Your Mom was a terrific lady and a great Mother. I always enjoyed her company when I was over at your house and of course, on the car trip to Florida! She was full of life! I will be thinking of you, your Dad,Spencer and the rest of your family. Love, Sandy Shore Durick

  7. Sharon Willis-Adams September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I weep as I realize this is “the end of an era of grace and elegance”. Fran was our Jackie-O. She was always honest and insisted we all “tow the line”. The Thorntons home was my “second home” and I will cherish the memories. Fran….rest peacefully until we see you again.

  8. Sharon Willis-Adams September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I weep as I realize this is “the end of an era of grace and elegance”. Fran was our Jackie-O. She was always honest and insisted we all “tow the line”. The Thorntons home was my “second home” and I will cherish the memories. Fran….rest peacefully until we see you again.

  9. James Peterson and Cathy Perry September 9, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    While in Atlanta on business last year I had the opportunity to visit my brother Dan and sister-in-law Lyn and was invited for dinner at the home of her parents Dr. and Mrs. Thornton. I enjoyed talking to both of them and listening to their memories. My wife Cathy and I have had the opportunity to spend some time at the Thornton’s cabin in North GA, you see all the family pictures and it makes you smile. I know Mrs. Thornton will be greatly missed by family and friends. Dr. Thornton, Lyn, Dan and extended family may the lord comfort you. IN PASTURES GREEN HE LEADETH ME.

  10. Richard Ross September 11, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    So sorry for your loss.

  11. Shraon Foote September 11, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    We will all miss Fran so very much!

  12. Lyn. Thornton Peterson March 9, 2020 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    I miss my Mom every day. She was a beautiful person and a loving Mother. Thank you for your strength, love and compassion.

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