Cover photo for Eugene O. Thornburg's Obituary
Eugene O. Thornburg Profile Photo
1929 Eugene 2004

Eugene O. Thornburg

August 2, 1929 — September 7, 2004

Eugene O. “Gene” Thornburg, 75, of 11819 Queen Road, a Plymouth area resident most of his life, died unexpectedly of natural causes, in Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Plymouth, at 2:36 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7, 2004.

Gene was born in Walkerton, Ind., on August 2, 1929, the son of Homer O. and Ethel Hilterbrand Thornburg. He graduated from West High School in 1948, and served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.

He was married to Janet Ann Green in Plymouth on January 31, 1953. Janet died on January 2, 1986. On June 29, 1990, Phyllis J. Kersey became Gene’s wife and survives his death.

Retired after 30 years from Bendix’s Allied Signal division in 1985, Gene then worked for Cardinal Supply for six years after which he worked for Kroger’s until his retirement in June of this year.

Always active, not content to rest, Gene opened a bait shop about a month ago and was looking forward to operating his own business. To demonstrate the kind of man he was, Gene was enthusiastic about life and was known in his neighborhood for putting up enormous displays of Christmas lights to delight children and passers by.

He enjoyed playing the fiddle and liked country dancing. He used to have jam sessions at his home where friends would gather, play music and cook chicken or beef and noodles outdoors.

An officer in the Moose Lodge # 741, Gene was also a member of the Culver Eagles and the Plymouth American Legion Post 27.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and by a daughter and two sons. They are Lois and Max Warren and Ronald E. Thornburg, all of Plymouth and Kenton H. and Rebecca Thornburg of Cotopaxi, Colorado.

Three stepsons also survive: Kevin and Lisa Kersey and Darrin Kersey, all of Plymouth and Michael and Mary Jo Kersey of Copperas Cove, Texas.

Eleven grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren survive as well. Together with a brother, James and Irene Thornburg of Donaldson, and two sisters, Ruth and Dennis Zent of Nappanee, and Evelyn Eyrich of Bourbon.

Visitation will be in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday. September 10, 2004. A memorial service by members of the Moose Lodge will be held in the funeral home at 8 p.m.

Funeral Services for Gene will be conducted by the Rev. Jim Pippenger, pastor of the Bethel Tabernacle, in the funeral home on Saturday, September 11, 2004, at 10:30 a.m. Military honors will be given in honor of Gene’s service to his country by the Plymouth V.F.W. Post # 1162.

Graveside services at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola, Ind., will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Memorial Gifts in Gene’s memory may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eugene O. Thornburg, please visit our flower store.

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