HAROLD THOMAS THORNTON, son of the late Harold Otis and Annie Ruth Thornton, was born on July 31, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland. He departed this life suddenly on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8.
At the early age of four years old, Harold’s curiosity, adventurous, and bold spirit was transparent as he left his home and took a bus ride by himself a few blocks away to his Aunt Betty’s house. A few years later, his independence led him to entrepreneurial ship as he built himself a wagon which he used to deliver groceries for shoppers at the Belair Market.
At the age of 14, Harold accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and joined Highway Christian Church under the Pastorship of the late District Elder Wesley Thomas. It was under Elder Thomas’ leadership that Harold was baptized and received the Holy Spirit. He attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. As he approached adulthood, he sought opportunities to contribute financially to his household and began working as a dishwasher. Shortly thereafter, he worked a few years at Eddie’s supermarket. He retired from Bethlehem Steel as a crane operator where he worked for over 40 years.
Harold was an avid pinochle player where he competed in numerous local tournaments. He loved playing pool; his passion for the sport was evident by the poolroom he built in his basement. On any given day, you could catch him inviting friends over for a quick game. If he wasn’t playing pool, you could catch him packing up headed out to the bay for a day of fishing. He was sociable, fun, loving, and always jovial. Known by his friends as “Hollywood”; Harold was well-liked and made many friends wherever he went. He was the life of the party with his upbeat and outgoing personality. If he could help family or friends in any way, he would. His unique laugh and stylish fashion was adored by all. When it was time to step out, his outfit was not complete without a stylish hat. He would drop the top on his red convertible, turn up the volume on the radio, and sing to the tune of an oldies but goodies song. When family and friends asked to drive his convertible, his playfully response was always, “No, my car is too fast for you!” Jokingly, however, serious because he would not let anyone behind the wheel.
He leaves to cherish his memories: one sister, Annie Harris; two sons, Harold Paschall and Harold Thomas Thornton Jr; six daughters, Michelle Dickens, Crystal Thornton, Tarshi Harris (Steve), Kimberly Edmonds, Shannon Bowell, Keisha Thornton; 17 grandchildren, Michael, Tikeya, Arthur, Gregory, Bradley, Nija, Creshawn, Christian, Taivon, Eric, Shante, Shaunte, Da’Quan, Antwan, Ny’el, Ky’el. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter Rhylee; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins; a close family friend of 50 years Louise McCormick; and an array of friends.
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