Mrs. Lottie Lorene Williams Thornton was born June 25, 1923, to Mr. George and Mrs. Florence Williams in Grenada, Mississippi. The youngest of three, she formed a lasting bond with her elder sisters: Paralee "Sweet" Williams Clark Burgs and Mildred "Sister" Williams. Lottie's mother passed away when she was ten years old. It was "Sweet" who assumed the responsibility of raising her younger sister. Both her father and "Sweet" taught Lottie the importance of faith and education to having a successful life.
She was educated in the Grenada Public Schools. Success came easy to Lottie who excelled in all things. She learned the popular dances; winning the top prize in the school's talent show. After completing her education in Grenada, she enrolled at Jackson State College. Lottie's education was partially financed from winning 1st place in the first Oratorical Contest sponsored by the Masons and Heroines of Jericho on December 4, 1939. At Jackson College, she made history by becoming the first female Student Government Association president. She graduated in the class of 1944 as salutatorian. Lottie would continue her education, receiving the Masters of Education from Ohio State University.
Lottie professional career was spent at her Alma Mater, serving as a teacher in the Laboratory School and Director of the Early Childhood Center, which is named in her honor. She was a life member of Jackson State University's National Alumni Association. Lottie was the first woman president of the National Alumni Association, serving from 1948-1950. She truly loved Jackson State and worked diligently on numerous committees.
Lottie met Dampeer Thornton. The tow fell in love and was married in Grenada, Mississippi in 1954. This beloved union lasted twenty-three years and gave birth to a lovely daughter, Myranette. Dampeer's untimely death ended a storybook marriage.
Mrs. Thornton united with Farish Street Baptist Church in 1945. She was a devoted member, serving as a choir member; Sunday School Teacher; member of the Junior Matron and E.B. Topp Circles; President, Woman's Missionary Society; Deaconess; and Chairperson of the Nominating Committee. In recognition of her indefatigable service, she received the 1999 Woman of the Year Award. After moving to Phoenix in 2011, she joined First Institutional Baptist Church where Dr. Warrn H. Stewart, Sr. is the Senior Pastor. She was a member of the General Mission through the Maryvale Circle, an active member of Sunday School Class #6, and also a member emeritus of the R.N. Nesby Scholarship Ministry. She quickly became known there as "Mother" because of her intellect, encouragement of others, her smile and her "Sassy" Style.
Mrs. Thornton was also active in the community. She was a member of the Beta Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated as well as a Torch Bearer member of Mary Church Terrell Literary Club. She held leadership positions in both organizations and served in many other capacities throughout her life.
Visitation hours have been set for Monday, June 25, 2018, from 12-7 p.m. at Peoples Funeral Home located at 886 N. Farish Street Jackson, MS
Funeral Service will be held on June 26, 2018, at Farish Street Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m. located at 619 N. Farish Street, Jackson, MS 39202. Interment will follow at Garden Memorial Cemetery-HWY 49 N.
In Lieu of flowers and because of her love for helping students in higher education, the family is requesting that you send a financial contribution in memory of Ms. Lottie Thornton to the Lottie Thornton Elementary Education Endowed Scholarship. Please make check payable to the JSU Development Foundation and mail to P.O. Box 17144, Jackson, MS 39217. Please write "Lottie Thornton Elementary Education Endowed Scholarship" on the memo line.
May God bless you abundantly for your gift in memory of our beloved Lottie -The Family
You may post your condolences at www.peoplesfuneralhomejackson.com