David Neal Thornton, 75, passed away Aug. 21, 2019, after a long battle with complications from hip replacement surgery. The first born son, David was born in Tonasket, Wash., June 3, 1944, to Neal and Nora Thornton.
He grew up on the family apple orchard in Tonasket, where he attended school for 12 years, graduating from Tonasket High School. David went on to attend Washington State University. By working hard in various agricultural areas of Washington State, his childhood work ethic and training paid off as he managed to fund and earn two college degrees from WSU, one in forestry and one in business. During this time, he also served in the United States Navy. David met his wife Lynn at WSU and they were married in 1974.
After graduating, he worked for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission at several state parks, eventually settling as manager of the Yakima Sportsman State Park. David was a warm and caring person who generally enjoyed the people he worked with and met in the park. He often went well beyond what was required and helped where it was needed.
David enjoyed living in the Yakima area for many years, where he and Lynn raised horses on their farm west of the city. As an avid sports fan, Yakima fit Dave well and he could often be found at the various sports events that the city hosts. David was very fond of basketball, but also enjoyed golfing, baseball and most sports.
After retiring from State Parks, David and Lynn moved to Winlock, Wash., where they built a new home and enjoyed retirement. Dave was a strong, quiet man with strong family values. His shy, quiet smile will surely be missed.
David is survived by his wife, Lynn; five brothers, Richard, Gary, Steve, Chad and Chris; and many additional friends and family members.