Gertrude Frances Thornton, 101, dedicated 30 years to Colonial Williamsburg

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gertrude thorntonGertrude Frances Thornton, 101, was born October 21, 1914, in Gloucester, Virginia to the late Hayes Franklin Thornton and Francis Canaday Thornton. On November 27, 2015, she transitioned from this life to her eternal rest, at her home in Williamsburg, Virginia.

At an early age, Gertrude accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and became a member of First Baptist Church, Midlothian, Virginia.

Reared by her loving grandparents, Wilmore and Rebecca Canaday, Gertrude quickly learned the value of hard work. At the age of 12, she was cleaning homes. After completing the 11th grade, she continued working private duty for two families in Fairfield, Connecticut for a number of years. She returned to Virginia and ended her career after 30 dedicated and loyal years of service to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Gertrude’s hospitality extended beyond her job and into her personal life. She enjoyed entertaining family and friends, traveling, gardening, cooking and sewing. When asked what the key was to longevity, she simply stated “one needs to take care of themselves and be nice to everyone.”

Though Gertrude had no children of her own, she still held an extremely close affection for her Goddaughter, Verita Mason-Frempong (Kofi); her cousins, Sylvia Willis, Haywood Shearin (Marian), Francis Curtis, Bill Canaday(Hope), Davida Arnold (Shaka) and Phillip Shearin. Gertrude shared a special relationship with her dearest friends, Maxine Canaday and Mary Frances; as well as a loving community of caring relatives and friends.

A service in Remembrance of Gertrude Thornton will be held noon Thursday, December 3, 2015, in Whiting’s Chapel with Dr. Robert A. Whitehead officiating. Interment will follow in the Cedar Grove Cemetery, Gertrude may be viewed from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, at which time family and friends may share fond memories of Gertrude’s life.

Professional services has been entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Whiting’s Funeral Home.

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