Carl Ray Thornton

Carl Ray Thornton

April 19, 1936 - May 07, 2022

Carl Ray Thornton

April 19, 1936 - May 07, 2022


Carl Ray Thornton gained Eternal Life in Jesus Christ on Saturday morning, passing peacefully at his home in Chesterfield County – aged 86 years and 18 days.  His passing followed a decline of several years due to Alzheimer’s disease, which quickly manifested after suffering the loss of his beloved wife of 61 years. He was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on April 19, 1936 to Renford Edmond Thornton and Annie Claire Mahan Thornton, the second of six children. He developed a strong work ethic in his youth, helping his father at Tomahawk Mill and an uncle in the tobacco fields. He attended school at Climax, graduating fourth in the Class of 1955, where he took on leadership roles in FFA and Beta Club, was captain of the basketball team, an outstanding baseball player, and was elected “Best All-Around” by his peers. He declined a scholarship to VPI, and possibly a professional baseball career, in favor of marrying Nancy Lee Watson on May 10, 1955 before graduating in June. After serving our country in the US Army and Army National Guard, he soon started working for CIT Financial Services, relocating to Richmond in 1962. Carl served CIT as a branch and regional manager for the next twenty years before starting his career with the Bank of Southside Virginia in 1983. He worked diligently for 35 more years, helping to grow BSV from a small chain of community banks into a regional institution, rising from a branch manager to senior vice president over his career. It was there that he built relationships that sustained him for the rest of his life. Carl was an active member of Dale Ruritan Club and was affectionately known to his fellow Ruritans as “Stepladder”. Ever ready to take on responsibilities, he served Ruritan tirelessly in national, state, and district leadership roles for many years. He was a lifelong member of the church, first at Greenpond Baptist in his youth, then helping to grow and build Southside Baptist throughout his adult life. He loved the Lord and served the church as a deacon, treasurer, and Sunday School teacher simultaneously for decades. His accomplishments were many, his service was selfless, his love was boundless. He did good works. He is survived by his sister Mildred Jane Tice and husband Bill, his brother Cecil Davis Thornton and wife Giorgina, his daughter Stephanie Carol Thornton and grandson Matthew, his daughter Cynthia Raye Johndrow and husband Rick, his son Stephen Lee Thornton and grandson Linus. His dear cousin Verne Anderson, his brothers J.P. and Darrell, and sister Brenda rejoice in his transformation. Funeral and Burial scheduled for 5pm, May 10 at Greenpond Baptist Church, 7176 Anderson Mill Road Chatham, VA  24531. A Memorial Service will be held at 12pm on May 14 at Transformation Church, 6000 Iron Bridge Road N. Chesterfield, VA  23234 Visitation at 11am. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Carl’s memory to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (

Funeral Service

  • Date & Time: May 10, 2022 (5:00 PM - 6:00 PM)
  • Venue: Greenpond Baptist Church
  • Location: 7176 Anderson Mill Road Chatham, VA 24531 - (Get Directions)

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: May 14, 2022 (12:00 PM)
  • Venue: Transformation Church
  • Location: 6000 Iron Bridge Road N Chesterfield, VA 23234 - (Get Directions)

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1 responses to Carl Ray Thornton

  1. Tony Whaley says:

    Carl was a great guy and friend. He will be missed.

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