Cover photo for Thornton Dickinson's Obituary
Thornton Dickinson Profile Photo
1926 Thornton 2016

Thornton Dickinson

December 7, 1926 — September 25, 2016

Thornton “Thorny” Dickinson passed away September 25, 2016. Beloved husband of the late Nancy Lee; loving father of Jim (Marsha) Dickinson and Louise (Larry) Seluk; dear brother of the late Stanley (Meredith),and sister in law Liz, and brother-in-law of Susan (Richard) LaBurn. He will be remembered lovingly by his grandchildren: Jimmy(Marion), Jason (Bethany), Jackie (Zack), Matt (Crystal), Nick (Michelle) and Liliah; five great grandchildren: Joshua, Calan, Emmett, Nola and Katelyn, and many special nieces: Elizabeth (Matt) and Amy and nephews: John (Laura), Tom (Michelle), and Paul (Nan) Dickinson, Rick (Jody) and John (Juile) LaBurn. Thornton was born on December 7, 1926. His father was Stanley R. Dickinson and his mother was Helen (Timm) .  He was named after one of his father's brothers who died at an early age.  He grew up on Glynn Court in Detroit.  Neighbors (and friends for life) include Jim Jans, Mary (Clarke) Atwood, Betty (Long) Souder and Jean (Long) Conklin.  Thorny was drafted in 1945 and served three years in the U.S. Army.  He attended Wayne State University majoring in business and accounting.  After a brief stay in San Francisco, Thorny returned to the Detroit area and began his career at Michigan Consolidated Gas in 1953.  He handled many positions, including information systems and even coach of the company baseball team.  He married Nancy Lee Lessenger in 1954.  He retired from Mich Con in 1983 and became even more active in his church, as well as becoming a great "house" husband.  Thorny was an active participant at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church for over 50 years.  He was active as a Deacon, Bible Study Leader. the Stephan's Ministry Program and he was the official "hugger" for so many years!  Favorite activities included eating out and enjoying a good swim, and he and Nancy loved their bridge game.  Whether it was through work, school, church or just with friends, they were always up for a game.  Vacations were a must and they often included some "masters" bridge game events in their travels. Other favorite trips included cruising in the Caribbean waters, family visits across the country and European vacations.  They shared over the years 4 schnauzers- Fritz, Charlie, Max and Schultzie and Thorny was always ready to get out there and walk the neighborhood with them or to include them in a "Crop Walk" whenever possible. Family time was so important to Thorny.  He loved to share special moments with each and every visitor - whether it was at his home, his pool, or visiting during special occasions at homes of others.  Special thanks to Nancy and Gordon Kostin for the wonderful Christmas Eves (cabbage rolls and ham); you always remembered homemade chocolates and thoughtful kindnesses through the years made him feel so special.  Nothing pleased Thorny more then a wonderful meal and his yearly Christmas dinners of prime rib at the Vertin house were a highlight.  Thank you Matt and Liz for always giving him your love and the select "prime" piece (and he loved those leftovers). Nephews John LaBurn and Tom Dickinson - thank you for sharing wonderful meals, and special time with Thorny during those last few months - truly made his day!  Mary Atwood in California, always an encouraging word and a positive motivator for Thorny though out the years, (especially after Nancy's passing) - thank you for keeping the lines of communication so strong - you were a voice he could always count on for keeping touch with the past, present and future.  Finally Sister Sue and Brother Richard. You were the best of family to Thorny - holidays, vacations, playing cards, bringing food, giving your time, love and support he was so very blessed to have you there through his life with Nancy Lee and beyond.  Thank you for reading this brief reflection of Thorny's life.  These notes can not begin to cover all the people who shaped Thorny's life, so please add something to this web site so we can all hear more stories about Thorny and how he touched your life. Sincerely, The Family of Thorny Dickinson   Visitation for Thorny will be held Sunday, November 6, 2016 from 12 noon until the time of the Memorial Service at 1:00 PM at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 27475 Five Mile, Livonia, 48154.  Lunch will follow the service. Memorial donations in honor of Thornton may be made to Seedlings Braille Books for Children, Breast Cancer Research Foundation or the Charity of Your Choice.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 6, 2016

St. Paul's Presbyterian Church

27475 Five Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48154

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