Frank C. Thornton

Published 12:02 pm Saturday, May 18, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE—Frank C. Thornton, 60, died on Saturday, May 11, 2013, from complications of Multiple Sclerosis. He was predeceased by his parents, Kate Robinson Thornton and William Norman Thornton Jr., and sister Linda E. Thornton. Frank is survived by his son, Whitney B. Thornton and wife, Erika, and their daughters, Elizabeth and Samantha; his son, Garrett W. Thornton, and their mother, Walker J. Thornton; his brother, William Norman Thornton III and wife, Ginger; niece, Heather T. Holt; and nephew, William N. Thornton IV.

Frank graduated from the University of Virginia in 1975, with a degree in Environmental Science; he received his Masters from the University of Georgia in 1977, and his PhD in Forest Soils from North Carolina State University in 1981. Frank held post-doctoral positions at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, and State University of New York in Syracuse. He moved to Alabama in 1986, to work as an Environmental Scientist with the Tennessee Valley Authority in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In 1999, he returned to Charlottesville, his hometown. Throughout his professional career Frank was an active participant in the Forest and Rangeland Soils Division of the Soil Science Society of America and the Environmental Quality Division of the American Society of Agronomy. His research on the impacts of acid precipitation and ozone on forest ecosystems were recognized as meaningful contributions to the most recent revision of the national ambient air quality standards. He was a frequent participant in national and international meetings and represented TVA on several regional and national working groups.

Frank will be remembered for his wicked sense of humor and the grace with which he accepted his MS. He loved a good cigar, a cold beer and blues music. Friends and family are invited to a joyous celebration of Frank’s life at his childhood home in Charlottesville, on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at 2 p.m. Donations may be made to the Blue Ridge Chapter of the National MS Society in his memory: NMSS, Blue Ridge Chapter, 1020 Carrington Place, Charlottesville, VA 22901.