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Jeanne Dawson Thornton

Obituary for Jeanne Dawson Thornton

April 13, 1935 - April 28, 2018
Manchester, New Hampshire | Age 83


Jeanne Dawson Thornton, 83, of Manchester, passed away on April 28, 2018 after a long, well lived life. She was surrounded in love by her family when she succumbed to a brief illness.
Jeanne was born on April 13, 1935 in Portland, ME. She was the fourth child of James and Eleanor (Ross) Dawson. She attended Catholic schools in Portland and graduated from St. Joseph's High School in 1953. She went on to get her teaching degree at Gorham State Teachers College in 1957. Her teaching career started in Portland at Lincoln Junior High only a few blocks from her childhood home. After marrying and moving to Manchester, NH, she worked as a substitute in many school while she was raising her children. In 1985, she took a full time position as a fifth grade teacher at Parker Varney School, until she retired in 1998. Throughout her career she undoubtedly made an impact in the lives of many children.
She was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Joseph Francis Thornton in 2010. She leaves her three children-Betsy Gay and her husband Rick of Manchester and their children Dawson, Griffin, and Macgregor; Susan Linehan and her husband Ken of Derry and their children Matthew, Sheilagh and Patrick; Joe Thornton and his wife Linda of Bedford and their children Meghan and Brendan. She is also survived by, and was cherished by, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends, most notably her dear friend Mary Jenkins and her daughter Jennifer. She was predeceased by her brother James Dawson and her sisters Eleanor Minvielle and Dorothy Seidel.
Her family and her faith were most important to her. She was a faithful parishioner of St. Raphael Parish for over 55 years. Her home was always the hub of activity and everyone was always welcome. She was everyone's biggest fan and was always quick to give a smile, a compliment or words of praise or encouragement. In recent years, Facebook gave her a wonderful venue to connect with all those she loved on a daily basis. She was also an avid reader and loved all Boston sports.
Summer vacations at Pine Point Beach in Maine were a cherished tradition for her entire extended family. Family values were very important to her. The role she loved the most was that of being Nana. Her 8 grandchildren will attest that they were each "her favorite". She celebrated their amazing successes and comforted them in times of need. Most importantly she passed on her amazing sense of humor and Irish wit to them and always kept us laughing.
The family would like to thank the nurses and the team in the ICU at CMC for their amazing care of our family.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on Thursday, May 3, 2018 in St. Raphael Church. Burial followed in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the NH Special Olympics, 650 Elm St, #200, Manchester, NH 03101, or to the St. Raphael Parish Food Pantry, 103 Walker St, Manchester, NH 03102.

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