Eugene W. ‘Gene’ Thornton

March 15, 1927 - Oct. 23, 2009

Eugene W. "Gene" Thornton of Mukwonago passed away Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. He was 82 years old.

Gene was born in Castalia, Iowa, on March 15, 1927, the son of Wilbur and Helen (nee Peyer) Thornton. He was a 1943 graduate of Postville High School in Iowa, and then attended DePaul University in Chicago.

On Nov. 26, 1953, he married Lila Hinman in Earlville, Iowa.

Gene was a former route manager for Muskego Rendering Co. and a driver for St. Vincent DePaul in Waukesha. He was a volunteer at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, a former president and coach for the former Mukwonago C.A.A., a Boy Scout leader and founder of Troop 153 Stone School, East Troy. Gene was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order since 1970, and a member of St. James Catholic Church, Mukwonago.

Survivors include his wife, Lila; children, Randall (Debbi Fosberg), Ruth Caves, Robert (Linda), Rosemary (Jeff) Hassenfeldt, Raymond (Laura), Roy, Rachel (Arlin) Pawlak, Rita (Brian) Nowatske, Gail (Richard) Weight, John (Annette) and Paul; sisters and brothers, Mary (Sylvan) Torkelson, James (Mary), Dawn (Tom) Cables, Clayton (Joean), Keith (Brenda), Faye and Beverly (James) Dale; 23 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two grandsons, David and Tyler Thornton.

Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until the 7 p.m. funeral service Wednesday, Oct. 28, at St. James Catholic Church, 830 Highway NN East, Mukwonago. The Rev. Michael Savio will officiate. Interment will be at Oak Knoll Cemetery, Mukwonago.

Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services, Mukwonago, is serving the family. For further information, please call 363-7126 or visit online at