Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Obituaries

March 8, 2013

Daniel F. Thornhill

Oct. 18, 1922-March 6, 2013

ELKHART — The Rev. Dan Thornhill went to be with his Lord and Savior Wednesday at 7:03 p.m. at his residence surrounded by his loving family.

Dan was born Oct. 18, 1922, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Bruce and Evelyn Thornhill. He was one of 15 children. Living still is his brother, Bob Thornhill, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

At age 12, Dan went to a foster home, where he joined the family of Harve and Edna Houch (deceased), foster brother, John (deceased) and Marilyn Doors of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At age 17, he walked five miles down a country road to attend a Bible school. In 1947, he graduated from Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He then went to Saskatchewan and pastored a circuit of three churches with United Church of Canada.

In 1948, he met Donna Gayle Harmon and they married Feb. 18, 1950. Surviving are two daughters, Barbara (Bob) Kuske of Arkansas and Patti (Ron) Sheets of Goshen; grandchildren, Carmen Sheets of Indianapolis, Jay Sheets of Goshen, and his special girlfriend, Lizzie Stapke of South Bend, Jason and Ryland (Angie) of Arkansas; two great-grandchildren, William and Angali; special grandchildren, Dr. Koushik and Brandi Shaw and Mousumi Shaw, all of whom he loved and cherished dearly.

In 1957, Dan and his family left Canada to pastor Auten Chapel Missionary Church, which is now Hillside Missionary Church. He attended Bethel College and earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and a bachelor’s degree in education. He received a master’s degree in education from Indiana University, South Bend.

He loved to teach and was an elementary school teacher for 25 years. Dan had a teacher’s heart that went beyond the elementary classroom — Sunday school teaching, mission trips, Bible studies and sharing his love for people through Christ his Savior. He retired in 1989.    

He was a man of many talents — a gospel chalk artist, acrylic painter, woodworker, as well as masterfully playing the harmonica, even recording a CD. His joy the last few years was making his special jewelry from silver-plated knives, forks and spoons — spoon rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and pens.

Visitation is set to take place Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m. at Hanley and Sons Southwest Chapel Funeral Home, located at Ind. 23/West Ireland Road in South Bend.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Hillside Missionary Church, 21567 W. Ireland Road, South Bend, with the Rev. Ken Fetter officiating.

There will be a private family burial.

Please, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that all memorial contributions be made to Heartland Hospice, 826 W. Edison, Mishawaka, IN 46545 or Hillside Missionary Church, 21567 W. Ireland Road, South Bend, IN 46614.

The Hanley & Sons Southwest Chapel Funeral Home handled services and arrangements and extend its deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to the Thornhill family.

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