Marian Thornton

Marian Cornelia Graham Thornton, 88, of Decatur, died Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, at River Birch Estate in Union. She was born Aug. 21, 1929, in Newton County.

From an early age she played piano by ear and later obtained a degree in Music from Mississippi Women’s College. She taught band at Hickory, piano at Clarke College and East Central Community College. She served as church pianist and choir director in several local churches for decades. She was accompanist for many musicals and vocal groups at ECCC. Many local students learned how to play the piano because of her.

Visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 at the Clarke-Venable Baptist Church in Decatur. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 at Clarke-Venable Baptist Church and the burial will follow in Newton County Memorial Gardens. The Rev. Mark Vincent will officiate. Newton County Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Milton C. (Red) Thornton; her father, James G. Graham; her mother, Elvie Graham; four brothers, Lynard Graham, Roger Graham, Roy Graham and Willie Graham; and three sisters, Eva Mae Saxton Bombace, Dorothy Davidson and Edith Neal.

Survivors include Frances Edwards (sister); her sister-in-law Mildred McKay; six nieces Hilda McGee, Sara Mayes (Gerald), Ann Jones, Beth Lever (Frank), Susan Thornton, Susan Neal; and family friend, Lynda Truesdale.

Surviving nephews include Thomas Edwards (Hedi), James Graham, David Graham, Larry Davidson, Joey Hand, Paul McKay and Henry Thornton.

Pallbearers will be Joey Hand, Sammie Hand, David Mayes, David Norman, Billy Pierce and Sam Bounds.

Honorary pallbearers will be Larry Davidson and Thomas Edwards.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to Gideons International or Clarke Venable Baptist Church music ministry.

Family and friends may sign an online guestbook at



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