Hazel Imogene (Jean) Tims Thornton, 89, of Bismarck, Arkansas, passed on to Heaven Friday, July 21, 2023, at home. She was encircled by loved ones who were blessed to be present.
Jean was born August 29, 1933, in Bismarck to Hazel and Harrison Tims. She was preceded in death by her parents and her in-laws: Alene and YB Thornton, her brother: Coy Tims and her sister-in-law: Bobbie Ruth Tims, her brother: Marvin Tims and her sister-in-law: Joann Tims and her young sister: Betty Jo. She recently lost her beloved sons-in-law, Ron Wright and Russell Prater.
Jean was the Godly maternal presence in many lives, blood-related and love-related.
She is survived by her devoted husband of seventy-two blessed years: Leon Thornton, and four loving children: Brian (Michelle) Thornton, Melanie Prater, Peggy (Paul) Scrivner and Connie Wright.
Jean treasured her ten grandchildren: Derek Scrivner, Rachel (Bryan) Wright-Dobbs, Nathan (Rechelle) Wright, Kirt (Magen) Scrivner, Jesse (Jessie) Wright, Lacey (John) Hall, Austin (Sasha) Diggins, Roxie (Chase) Hall, Morgan (Luke) Morrison and Hayden (Jessica) Thornton.
Her life was enriched with nineteen great-grandchildren: Paiton Scrivner, Carter Wright, Tucker Hall, Emma (Max) Inscore-Poole, Lauren Scrivner, Kennedi Scrivner, Karstyn Scrivner, Mia Hall, Aubrey Wright, Archie Wright, Allie Hall, Kruz and Karaline Scrivner, Kelsyn Scrivner, Piper Morrison, RJ (Ronald Jesse) Wright, Witten Morrison, Case Thornton and Colt Thornton.
Six bonus great-grandchildren live in Texas: Haylee, Faith and Tyler Dobbs; Nevaeh, Autumn, Daisy and Shepard Hall. Jean was even blessed to be a great-great-grandmother to Oslo Inscore-Poole and Emerson Hall.
Also treasuring her memory are members of her close extended family: nieces Delores Turner, Brenda Hasley, Rebecca Spradlin, Sheila Bird, Sheena Garner, Deanna King, Cheana Conrad and Caroline Cook and nephews: Kelly Robbins and Bud Thornton.
Like sisters, her friends Celia Little and Martha Rice are left with more than sixty years of wonderful memories of their friend, Jean.
Jean’s love-related survivors include friends from her decades of Christ-like connections. She was a strong, positive influence in her thirty-eight years as an English teacher, in her service in the churches she attended and in her community, her hometown of Bismarck. She was truly a virtuous woman, a Proverbs 31 woman.
Being a Proverbs 31 woman was demonstrated in Jean’s life by how she lived. Reared by Christian parents in a rural setting during the Great Depression, she learned the value of family and a strong work ethic. She was a busy, working mom who consistently went the extra mile. Having earned her BSE and MSE from Henderson State University, she taught most of her career at Hot Springs and Bismarck High Schools. The extra mile in her job included mentoring and encouraging hundreds of students who loved and respected Mama T.
When her workday ended, Jean was a caring, committed wife, mom and grandmother. She was a great cook, a maker of sweet tea, chocolate gravy and Chex mix. She had a gift for hospitality and enjoyed serving Leon’s professional friends a home-cooked meal when they traveled to Arkansas. Jean made her family and friends feel welcome when they walked in the door.
Holidays were special in the Thornton house, and Christmas was her favorite. Her joyful Christmas spirit will forever be part of family Christmas celebrations.
In her free time, she sewed, made her home beautiful and inviting, worked in her flower beds, shopped and traveled from Europe to Hawaii and many points in between. Jean was known by her family for her morning quiet time. Her tearful, sincere prayers were followed by singing in the kitchen. She modeled for her family how to love God and love people.
Jean loved people from her heart and by her actions. She was a giver, generous with her time, wisdom, and attention. Her selflessness was real, and she was quick to see the positive in life and the good in people. Non-judgmental and accepting, Jean’s sound advice was, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Her mercy and compassion revealed the mind of Christ in her.
Jean loved her community of Bismarck; she grew up there and returned after many years in Hot Springs. Her vision of the area churches working together led to Bismarck’s Circle of Prayer, the source of a scholarship in her name. She used her talents in the churches she attended, Unity Baptist and Hickory Grove. She served by teaching classes, children to adults, providing flowers and decorating the church, supporting and encouraging pastors, being the church clerk, a deacon’s wife and doing other unseen tasks.
Jean would not want us to think of her as aged and ill, although she lived through her illness graciously. Let’s remember her as her beautiful, stylish, fun-loving, Jesus-following self, smiling and laughing and living her full and meaningful life.
Jean’s family will host family and friends at a visitation Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. with a funeral service to follow at 2:00 p.m. both at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Bismarck with Brother Jim Agee, Reverend Dan Hopkins and Brother Gary Jennings officiating.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons: Austin Diggins, Derek Scrivner, Hayden Thornton, Carter Wright, Jesse Wright, Kirt Scrivner, Nathan Wright and Tucker Hall.
Honorary pallbearers will be her son-in-laws: Luke Morrison, John Hall, Paul Scrivner and Bryan Dobbs.
Burial will follow at Hickory Grove Cemetery in Bismarck.
Arrangements are entrusted to Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923.