Obituary for Scott Thornton
May 7, 1952 – July 12, 2020 On July 12, 2020, our husband, father, brother and friend took off on his final flight. He was last spotted gliding through clear skies at sunrise. His ground crew, consisting of his wife Betsy, 5 children, their spouses, and 12 grandchildren were often seen with him in the years leading up to his departure. All were present at take-off to ensure a peaceful flight. A number of interviews have been conducted to assess the character and flight plan of the pilot. By all accounts, Scott’s early childhood was unremarkable. However, after a near-fatal encounter with a milk truck, he began to exhibit extraordinary attributes. His sister Chris claimed, “after he got knocked over, he became the most steady, grounded person I have ever known. He also started eating a lot of ice cream.” Reports of Scott’s extraordinary characteristics only continued to develop. While attending Olympus High School, he focused on skiing powder, working construction, jeeping, and growing his beard. Post high school, he backpacked through Europe. An experience that would lead to his love of culture, human connection, and curiosity of the greater world. Scott served a mission in West Germany in 1971. It was a foundational experience for the spiritual conviction that would define his life. While much is still classified about his time spent overseas, it is known he touched many lives and the Berlin Wall would later fall in 1989. Upon his return, Scott attended the University of Utah, joined Sigma Chi, and planned for a future in business. His well-laid plans were altered after a chance encounter in the bookstore with a cute coed. Lesli Rice is quoted as saying, “Once he met Betsy, it was all over. I have never seen such love and devotion.” This began a 47-year love story, which inspired five children, countless memories, several best-selling romance novels, and the rock ballad, “You’re the Inspiration,” by the band Chicago. Further reports differ in the occupation of the pilot. He was reported as being: a fly fishing guide, professional skier, card shark, golf pro, pit crew boss, life architect, “Manny”, moral philosopher, Mexican hotelier, frozen yogurt tycoon, real estate developer, midlife cowboy, weatherman, boy scout, and LDS Bishop. Based on all accounts, we do not believe him to be dangerous– just dynamic. The following is a list to help identify the pilot. He was often seen wearing: a baseball cap, golf shirt, wild-patterned socks, fly fishing vest, and $39 Timex watch. He is believed to be carrying: a case of Diet Coke, fly fishing rod, day planner, maps, passport, skis, golf clubs, and several gallons of Huckleberry ice cream. Leading up to his departure, Scott could often be seen exploring with his beloved Betsy. While she was present at his departure, we have been unable to reach her for comment. She was last seen riding her horse into the wilderness. As she rode off, Betsy was overheard saying, “Although Scott was my greatest adventure, he always encouraged me to continue blazing my own trail.” Items he left behind: A grateful community, loving friends and family, a legacy for his children and grandchildren, a dozen red roses with one white rose for Betsy, and a handwritten note with a simple message “Savor Life.” All of these accounts are mostly true. You can choose to believe any or all of them. Another story is that Scott was an outstanding member and leader of his family, friends, faith, and community. After 9 years of courageously battling Multiple Myeloma, Parkinson’s, and pain, he was finally released from his service to this world. His deep faith and convictions guided him both in life and through his final days. Scott’s runway was lined with so much love. He leaves behind Betsy Dumke Thornton, Erin & Jason Linder, April & Rock Schutjer, Scott & Carly Thornton, Meagan & David Andreason, Ashley & Jacob Mendenhall, 12 adoring grandchildren and a host of 4 legged friends. He was preceded in departure from this world by his parents Wayne Thornton & Shirley Thornton Williams, Rex Williams, Katherine & Ezekiel Dumke, Jr. and brother Cary Thornton. Thank you to his medical team from Utah to Arizona. They generously served Scott with their expertise and compassion while giving us the gift of time. We would like to thank all of those loved ones, family and friends, that crossed paths with Scott throughout the years. Wherever you find yourself in his story, please know you were an important piece. Donations to be made in lieu of flowers. Please consider the Utah Food Bank and the Utah chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Please send condolences, memories, video messages, or questions about future gatherings to remembering ScottThornton@gmail.com
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