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Long-time PIAA Official; Former East Forest Coach Jerry Thornton Passes Away

MARIENVILLE, Pa. – Life-long Marienville resident and retired East Forest Health, Physical Education, and Driver’s Education teacher Gerald C. “Jerry” Thornton died Wednesday, Jan. 4, at UPMC Shadyside following a period of declining health.

His family will receive friends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at Furlong Funeral Home, 140 Cherry St., Marienville, Pa. with an additional hour of visiting from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, at the funeral home with Rev. Heidi Helsel, officiating. His family encourages the community to come and share their memories of Jerry during this gathering.

Mr. Thornton, 69, was born Aug. 2, 1953, in Kane to the late Edward C. and Frances Kosinksi Thornton.

He was a graduate of East Forest High School and of Lock Haven University with a BS in Health, Physical Education. and Driver’s Education.

On April 22, 1978, in Marienville he married the former Roxanne Silvis. She survives.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Pamela (Chris) Miller and Michelle (Jordan) Adler; and his grandchildren, Jasper Thornton Adler, and Kea Carolyn Adler.

Prior to his retirement in June of 2010, he was an instructor for East Forest School in Health, Physical Education and Driver’s Education and as a summer instructor at Kane Area School District in Driver’s Education.

Mr. Thonrton was very active in the local community and a member of Forest County Sportsman’s Club, Marienville Rod & Gun Club, Marienville Minstrel Chorus, Marienville Trail Riders Snowmobile Club, Forest County ATV Club, Marienville Area Civic Association (M.A.C.A.), Holiday Valley Ski Resort Safety Patrol, Oil City 55 & Over Softball League, Clarendon Cornhole League and Blue Jay Shuffleboard League.

He enjoyed playing softball, downhill skiing, cornhole, bowling, hunting, shuffleboard, snowmobiling, and riding ATVs and was known for his storytelling.

Mr. Thornton was a 35-year PIAA referee for volleyball, soccer, and basketball.

At East Forest School, he coached elementary basketball, junior high soccer, and varsity soccer, basketball, and baseball. He was also the school’s Ski Club Advisor.

For 34 years he managed the community swimming pool in Marienville, where he taught youth swimming lessons every summer.

In the past, Mr. Thornton was instrumental in the Marienville Area Baseball Association as president, manager, and coach.

Those preceding him in death in addition to his parents are his brother, Dennis Thornton.

The family suggests a memorial donation be made in his memory to M.A.C.A. Pool, P.O. Box 138, Marienville, Pa. 16239.

Friends and family may order flowers, leave online condolences, light a memorial candle, share a memory and obtain additional information by visiting www.furlongfuneralhome.com.

 

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