Obituaries

Bertram Bivens
B: 1967-10-01
D: 2017-06-26
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Bivens, Bertram
Larry Gaither
B: 1947-05-15
D: 2017-06-15
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Gaither, Larry
Barbara Bates
B: 1941-12-16
D: 2017-06-10
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Bates, Barbara
Mary Sanders
B: 1940-12-04
D: 2017-06-09
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Sanders, Mary
John Johnson
B: 1941-12-26
D: 2017-06-06
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Johnson, John
Arthur Monts
B: 1944-01-17
D: 2017-06-04
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Monts, Arthur
Virgil Walker
B: 1936-07-04
D: 2017-06-03
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Walker, Virgil
James Banks
B: 1939-07-12
D: 2017-06-02
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Banks, James
Harris Stewart
B: 1919-06-16
D: 2017-06-01
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Stewart, Harris
Miriam Brown
B: 1961-04-05
D: 2017-05-31
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Brown, Miriam
Esther Gates
B: 1934-04-07
D: 2017-05-27
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Gates, Esther
Anthony Nwaigwe
B: 1944-07-12
D: 2017-05-26
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Nwaigwe, Anthony
Judson Fulton
B: 1965-04-07
D: 2017-05-25
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Fulton, Judson
Jennie Scott
B: 1918-09-22
D: 2017-05-24
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Scott, Jennie
Marion Fletcher
B: 1926-06-17
D: 2017-05-20
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Fletcher, Marion
Ike Hill
B: 1951-10-26
D: 2017-05-12
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Hill, Ike
Romanus Nwaiwu
B: 1952-07-07
D: 2017-05-12
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Nwaiwu, Romanus
Keilo Williams
B: 1985-05-23
D: 2017-04-23
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Williams, Keilo
Patricia Cloud
B: 1939-04-12
D: 2017-04-23
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Cloud, Patricia
Emmanuel Tengey
B: 1978-07-23
D: 2017-04-20
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Tengey, Emmanuel
Ruth Ford
B: 1944-03-04
D: 2017-04-19
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Ford, Ruth

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3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
ATLANTA, GA 30331
Phone: (404) 691-4685
Fax: (404) 691-2205

Our Experienced Staff

Each of the staff members at Herschel Thornton Mortuary is committed to providing your family with the finest in personal end-of-life care. In fact, for years, it’s been comforting for area families to know that we are available to help at any time of the day or night.

When a loved one dies, all you need to do is make one phone call. From that moment on, we’ll take on the responsibilities of the physical care of your loved one, and the emotional care of those left behind.

Please take a few minutes to get to know our funeral home staff. We’re sure you’ll find each of us to be all that you would hope for in a trusted funeral professional.
 


Herschel E. Thornton III, President

Herschel E. "Chuck" Thornton, III is the son of our Founder, Mr. Herschel E. Thornton, Jr.  Chuck spent his formative years watching his parents grow the family business.  As a native of Atlanta, Chuck was educated in the Atlanta Public Schools System, and graduated from Charles L. Harper High School.  He continued his education at Georgia State University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, and Gupton-Jones College, earning an Associate's Degree in Mortuary Science.  Chuck became a licensed funeral director in 1972 and a licensed embalmer in 1975.

Encouraged to follow in his parents' entrepreneurial footsteps, Chuck has dedicated his entire professional career to Herschel Thornton Mortuary.  He appreciates the opportunity to serve bereaved families, and he enjoys the process of seeing his work through from beginning to end.  Chuck has served as our President since his father's passing in 1995.  He has shown himself to be a wise and prudent businessman, steering Herschel Thornton Mortuary through lean as well as abundant times.

Brandon Thornton, Vice President

Brandon E. Thornton is the grandson of our founder; Mr. Herschel E. Thornton Jr. Brandon spent an abundance of time at the funeral home as a child, and joined Herschel Thornton Mortuary professionally in 2005. As a native of Atlanta, he was educated in the Atlanta Public Schools System; graduating from Benjamin E. Mays High School. Brandon later went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from Clayton State University, and further continued his education by obtaining his Associate of Science Degree from Gupton-Jones College.

Seeking a profession with a life purpose, Brandon made the decision to join Herschel Thornton Mortuary. Motivated by his desire to truly impact the lives of the families he serves, Brandon constantly works to be the best funeral director that he can be. His drive to continue the Thornton Family Legacy provides him the enthusiasm to grow the business, and work harder every single day. Brandon currently serves as the Vice President of Herschel Thornton Mortuary as well as a Funeral Director.

When asked about what he loves most about working in funeral service, he states: “I have the opportunity to meet new people every day, and learn about the amazing lives that people have lived. Knowing that it is my job to ensure that a person’s life is celebrated in a manner that is true to who they were can definitely be intimidating. But once the services are over, and I can see the joy in their family’s face, I know I have succeeded. And I can honestly say, that is an awesome feeling.”

Gloria Thornton, Director of Operations

Gloria Thornton is a native of Atlanta, GA.  As the granddaughter of our Founder, she literally grew up at Herschel Thornton Mortuary.    Gloria is a proud alumna of Benjamin E. Mays High School, Florida A&M University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and Emory University, where she earned a Master of Divinity Degree.  Gloria has worked in several different industries, including finance, retail, and community mental healthcare.  

Gloria draws strength and wisdom from supporting others during challenging times, and considers funeral service to be a privilege.  
Her desire to continue her grandparents' legacy and to see Herschel Thornton Mortuary thrive for many more years to come, led her to join our full-time staff in 2012.  As our Director of Operations, she spends most of her time on the administrative side of the business,  and she also enjoys occasional moments to engage directly with the families we serve.

Bertram Leonard, Funeral Director & Chief Embalmer

Bertram “Bert” Leonard is a native of Donaldsonville, Georgia. At an early age, he became interested in the funeral profession. Upon moving to Atlanta, Bert attended Gupton-Jones College, where he received his Associates Degree in Mortuary Science. He then went on to become a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the State of Georgia. His love for funeral service has led him to serve at several funeral homes in his career. Bert had been a valuable member of our part-time staff for many years, until joining Herschel Thornton Mortuary in 2009 on a full-time basis.

Willinda Adams, Funeral Director

Willinda “Gill” (pronounced Jill) Adams, a native of Atlanta, is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. She is a proud graduate of Benjamin E. Mays High School. Gill later went on to obtain her Associates Degree in Funeral Service from Gupton-Jones College, her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from National Louis University, and her Master’s Degree in Education from Argosy University. She is a member of the Academy of Graduate Embalmers and also serves as an instructor at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. Gill is also a fluent interpreter of American Sign Language.

Gill was inspired to enter into the funeral service profession in 2002 by her late father, Sergeant Willie M. Adams II., who was well-known in the funeral service profession as a “Master Embalmer & Restorative Artist”. When asked about her role as a funeral director, she states, “I believe funeral service is a calling, a ministry, and an opportunity to provide closure to the families during their most difficult time.” Gill has been a proud member of the Herschel Thornton Mortuary family since 2008.

Christopher Beckwith, Funeral Service Professional

Christopher Beckwith was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but considers both cities home. He is a graduate of the former Southwest High School of Atlanta and from there went on to pursue a career in computer technology. Working in the funeral industry came as a coincidence for Christopher. On one particular Saturday, Herschel Thornton Mortuary was short-staffed and in need of additional personnel. Christopher, a close friend of a current employee, offered his assistance in conducting the funeral services for that day. His willingness to help and his professionalism led Christopher to become a regular alternate staff member. Roughly 10 years later, a greater opportunity presented itself and Christopher was offered a permanent position as a Herschel Thornton Mortuary Associate. He gladly accepted, and has been an integral part of the team since.

James Pinkney, Funeral Service Professional

James Pinkney is a native of Morristown, Tennessee; near the Great Smoky Mountains. Upon graduating from High School in 1985, his parents brought him to Atlanta to study at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. While attending college, James sought out an opportunity to practice his passion for funeral service. Our founder, Herschel E. Thornton Jr., was happy to bring aboard this enthusiastic student to the wonderful staff at Herschel Thornton Mortuary.  James has been a member of our family ever since.

Kentacia Wideman, Funeral Director

Kentacia Wideman is an Atlanta native, graduating from Benjamin E. Mays High School. She later went on to attend Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service where she obtained her Associates Degree in Mortuary Science, and has recently begun work towards obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Argosy University. She is a member of Turner Chapel AME Church and a dedicated member of the Hallelujah Workshop for Christian Performing Arts. Kentacia has been a proud member of the Herschel Thornton Mortuary family since 2008.

Kentacia was inspired to get into the funeral service profession while assisting her grandmother prepare for funeral services at their home church. The most enjoyable part of the profession for Kentacia is “meeting with families and serving them to the best of her abilities during their time of need.”

Milton Fletcher Jr., Funeral Service Professional

Milton Fletcher Jr.,was born and raised in the Capital City of Georgia. As a toddler, Milton’s mother would take him with her to funeral homes as she would pay her final respects to family, friends, and church members. It was at an early age that Milton realized funeral service was not just his passion, but more his calling. He began his career in funeral service in 1991, working at Sellers Brothers Funeral Home under the guidance of the then president, Mrs. Juanita Stone.

Milton is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. He later went on to attend Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. Milton has been a member of the “compassionate, free-spirited team” at Herschel Thornton Mortuary since 1999, where he serves as a Funeral Service Professional.

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