William M. Thornton

June 19, 1992

William M. Thornton, a retired captain of merchant ships anda World War II Navy veteran, died Monday at his home in Bozman, Talbot County, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Graveside services for Captain Thornton, who was 89, were being held today at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

He retired nearly 25 years ago from the Ore Steamship Co., a subsidiary of the Bethlehem Steel Corp. for which he had worked many years.

Although born in Muncie, Ind., he was raised in Crisfield, and he began his career as a seaman in 1919 aboard steamers on the Chesapeake Bay.

He had become a master of ore ships before World War II. He served in the Navy as an executive officer aboard troop transports during the war and later was a captain in the Naval Reserve.

Captain Thornton lived in Dundalk for many years. Bozman became his year-round home about two years ago.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Ellen McAleer; two daughters, Barbara Mugnolo of Rochester, N.Y., and Marguerite Helminiak of Bozman; a brother, Edward Thornton of Crisfield; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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