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James Dean Thornton

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


December 14, 1955 - February 4, 2024


Funeral services for James Thornton will be held on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona. Burial will be at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Whittemore.

James Dean Thornton was born Dec. 14, 1955, in Fort Dodge the son of Robert and Rosanne (Gales) Thornton. He grew up in Livermore, Rutland, and in sixth grade his family moved to Whittemore. He attended school at St. Michael’s and later Bishop Garrigan High School, graduating in 1974. After his schooling he began working for Elbert Well Drilling and later Schumacher Well Drilling in Algona.

On Sept. 8, 1984, James was united in marriage to Lori Christensen in Fenton. After their marriage they lived in Whittemore. In 2006, Jim and Lori adopted their son, Gabriel, who meant the world to Jim and you could tell Jim’s face would light up every time he talked about him. Jim worked at Balchem, formerly AI Processors, in Whittemore for 29 years, retiring in September of 2022.

Jim enjoyed bowling, fishing, playing cards, golfing, playing softball, following all Iowa teams in their sporting events and watching the Minnesota Vikings. He most of all enjoyed the time he was able to spend with his family. He was a member of the Sons of the American Legion Whittemore Post #425.

James Thornton died Sunday, Feb. 4 at Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa in Mason City at the age of 68.

He is survived by his wife, Lori Thornton of Whittemore; son, Gabriel Thornton of Whittemore; siblings, John and Kathy Thornton of Clear Lake; JoAnne and Alan Johnson of Hubbard; Joseph and Vickie Thornton of Emmetsburg; Jacqueline and Thomas Ricke of Whittemore; Jeffrey Thornton of Sioux City; Jayne Thornton of Ankeny; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jim and Deb Christensen of Ankeny; David and Shelley Christensen of Grimes and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and mother-in-law and father-in-law.

Arrangements are being handled by Oakcrest Funeral Services. Condolences may be left at

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