Thursday, August 28, 2008

Willie Arthur Thornton

Willie Arthur Thornton, who was affectionately known as "Captain Blackdraw," passed away unexpectedly at the age of 56 on Thursday, August 28, 2008. Willie was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, on August 30, 1951, to the late Willie Mae Powell and Willie O. Thornton.

The Thornton family moved to Racine when Willie was a small child. He was involved in many of the clubs and sports at Park High School and graduated in 1971. Willie's love for the city of Racine and the school system led him to obtain employment as an engineer with Racine Unified School District. During his time away from work, Willie was a member of Greater Mt. Eagle Missionary Baptist Church where he sang in the Male Chorus and Combined Choir. Willie loved to travel, especially by car or truck so that he could talk on his CB to his friends all over the country. His handle, "Captain Blackdraw," was known by many. He was the sort of man that you could turn to when you needed help, and was often there to help without even being asked. Many people hold fond memories of Willie caring for his neighbors’ lawns and ensuring that the snow was removed, or helping out at Jerry’s Barber Shop.

He is survived by his children, Sandra Renee (Christopher) Wise of Racine, Wisconsin, and Elvin L. Thornton of Chicago, Illinois; three grandchildren: Damon Thornton-Muhammad, Ciara Thornton and Chris Wise, Jr.; three brothers, Vernon Crawley of San Francisco, California, Theophlius "Ted" Crawley, and Ardell "Ken" (Trina) Crawley both of Las Vegas, Nevada; as well as many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Willie O. Thornton; his mother and stepfather, Willie Mae and Claster Cummings; brother, Howard Ward; and sister, Wava J. Days.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, from 5-7 p.m at Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home. Homegoing services will be held at Greater Mt. Eagle Missionary Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 4, 2008. Final viewing will be at the church at 10 a.m. prior to the start of the worship service. Pastor Keith T. Evans will be officiating. Committal services will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Racine.

Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home
4600 County Line Road, Racine (262) 552-9000

No comments: