Mary Cecelia Thornton January 24, 1925 – November 28, 2017
Mary died peacefully in her home surrounded by those that loved her; she was 92.
Mary was born in Pittsburg, PA; one of five children. She married John P Thornton October 7, 1947; in Philadelphia, PA. They met in a Catholic organization called The Catholic Worker. They bought a farm in rural PA as part of a back to the land movement during their time with the Catholic Worker. Mary worked tirelessly alongside John (Jack) her husband to make a go of the farm. They knew nothing about farming and learned on the job how to run a dairy farm. During their marriage they went on to have 13 children together. In 1962 they packed up the 10 children they had in PA and moved across country where Dad took a teaching job in Perris, CA. Mary was a stay at home Mom.
Mary had a passion for organic gardening and was a vegetarian before it was ever a thing. An avid environmentalist; with strong opinions on such. She taught us all a strong work ethic; she was never one to abide a lazy slouch, and never let us settle for a job half done. Besides raising her own 13 children she was always willing to take in other kids that needed a home. She had homemade meals prepared every night and warm baked whole-wheat bread for us to dig into right after school. She cared for the less fortunate and was a volunteer for many years at the Riverside County Jail with the group called Friends Outside.
“Ma” (as many called her) was one of a kind and for all the hard work; she will be forever respected. And even in her eccentricity she was always the rock in which we all could depend. For all this & much more we all will own a void that won't be filled. There simply isn't a replacement for Ma. She will be sorely missed.
We want thank Maggie Harrison (Mary’s granddaughter) and Louise Gomez for the loving care they gave Mom over this past year. As well as Granddaughter’s Sasha Villarreal and Sarah Harrison for their love & support.
As per Mary’s request there will be no service.
As she often quoted. “Live simply, that others may simply live.”