Cleon C. Thomton, 93, died after a brief illness, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, with his family at his side. Memorial services were held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 24, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Chapel, in Sioux Falls, S.D. Committal services were held at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 25, at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Montevideo, with full military honors.
Cleon Thomtom was born in Montevideo, Feb. 11, 1920, to Emil and Julia (Lund) Thomton. He graduated from Montevideo High school and joined the National Guard. When the Minnesota Guard was federalized he was shipped to England in 1942. It was there that he met his future wife, Violet M. Thoroughgood. She was serving in the Women’s Land Army to support the war effort. Prior to leaving the U.S. with an infantry unit he had applied to the Army Air Corps. His orders finally caught up to him while training in Ireland. He was sent back to the states for his flight training and returned to England in 1944 as a pilot in the 56th fighter group, flying the P47 Thunderbolt. He flew 74 missions over Europe with the outstanding unit known as Zemke Wolfpack. When he returned to the states he married Violet, July 12, 1946, in Montevideo.
As a young man he enjoyed hunting with his Chesapeake retriever, Pepper, and fishing. In midlife he developed a love for golf which he enjoyed with his wife throughout their retirement, from the LP Gas industry in Minnesota and North Dakota, becoming a district manager for Solar Gas Company until his retirement in 1982.
They had two children, Sandra Ann (and Richard) Garnas, of Sioux Falls, and Curtis Lee (and Karen) Thomton, of Pelican Lake; grandchildren, Derek, of Sioux Falls, and Cassandra Garnas (and Dale) Nicholson, of Little Rock, Ark.; great-grandchildren, Natalee Ann and L.D. Nicholson, of Little Rock.
Preceding him in death were his son, Curtis; and his wife Violet; parents; sister, Eldora Tusberg; and brother, Norton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Building Fund in Sioux Falls are preferred.
Heritage Funeral Home, of Sioux Falls, was in charge of the arrangements. (www.heritagesfsd.com)