Family Login:

Charles White Thornton
  • In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made in Charles name to the
  • American Heart Association of SC Memorial & Tributes Processing Center
    4217 Park Place Court
    Glen Allen, VA 23060
  • and/or
  • The Association of Retinopathy of Pre-Maturity and Related Diseases, (ROPARD)
    P.O. Box 250425
    Franklin, MI 48025

Pause Timeless by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
Share This Obituary
Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Charles by adding your memories and photos.


Arrangements made by

J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

3360 Glenn McConnell Parkway
Charleston, SC 29414
Get Directions

Profile of J. Henry Stuhr West Ashley Chapel

View Phone Number
View Fax Number

Send Flowers
 Local Florists

Memories & Candles

“I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how special Charlie was to all of you. As a husband, a father, and grandfather.... and so much more to so many...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Sherry Knight - Charleston, SC

“We will miss seeing Charlie and Phil walking / rolling around the neighborhood. They always had a friendly and upbeat greeting, and a bit of...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: James Rockwell - Charleston, SC

“Charlie was a blessing in everyone's lives. May God comfort you at this time of sorrow. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Judy Caille - Goose Creek, SC

Charles White Thornton, 86, was born on April 3, 1934 in Charleston S.C., a son of Howard Eugene Thornton and Ethel Smith Thornton. He passed away quietly at his residence on Wednesday May 13, 2020 after a long illness and declining health. A Private Memorial Service will be held Saturday, May 16, 2020 in J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Downtown Chapel, 232 Calhoun Street.

Mr. Thornton attended a number of local Charleston schools and graduated from Summerville High School where he played football. Thereafter, he attended the College of Charleston until he joined the U.S. Air Force and proudly served as an Ordinance Specialist during the Korean War, being honorably discharged in 1957. He was profoundly privileged to be on the last Honor Flight from Charleston in 2015 to visit the war memorials in Washington D.C. Charles was the owner of a number of Lowcountry businesses for many years. He was retired from the Charleston County School District.

Charles spent many summers in his youth with a large extended family in Elberton, GA. He could entertain you with numerous stories of spending time in a small Southern town where his uncle was the sheriff and his aunt cooked every meal from scratch. He and his cousins worked at the family dairy farms, lumber mills and granite quarries in Elberton. Growing up in Charleston, he could tell you every street, alley, park, corner store and landmark downtown. An avid hunter, sportsman and lifelong fisherman in the Lowcountry waterways, he could name every river, creek and inlet between the Santee and Edisto Rivers. Based on the tides and the weather, Charles could tell you what fish were biting and when was a good time to go shrimping. He had a vast knowledge of sports,
especially football and baseball and could remember even the smallest details about games, players, wins and losses from years past.

On any given Saturday afternoon, Charles would don his Garnet and Black attire and attend the University of South Carolina football games until he was physically unable to attend in person at which time, he either watched or listened on the radio. When his Gamecocks weren't playing, his Braves surely were somewhere on the radio or TV to fill the gaps. Charles loved to play any number of card games and could often be heard proclaiming himself as the "Skip Bo King".

Charles met his wife of more than 60 years on King Street in Charleston. They lived in the Charleston area the majority of their married life, only interrupted by a brief 7 years in their Saluda N.C. mountain dream home where the winters were too cold and the Gamecocks were too far away. Anyone who knew Charles could attest he was a quiet, faithful, Christian man who believed in working hard and who was dedicated to his family.

Charles is survived by his devoted wife, Shirley (nee) Willard and his two daughters Carolyn Camidge of Morganton, N.C. and Deborah Craig (Bill) of Mt. Pleasant S.C. He leaves behind four grandchildren who were his pride and joy, John Sanders, Shelby Craig, William Craig and Madison Craig and one great-grandchild Joshua Sanders. In addition, Mr. Thornton is survived by his niece Louisa Gaillard Thornton (Udo Schmidt) and son Ceddi Thornton of Hamburg Germany, his special nephew Peter Moore (Vanessa) and daughter Audrey Blaire Moore of the Philippines and a number of cousins, nieces, nephews, and devoted friends. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his brother Howard Eugene Thornton, Jr.

On a special note is Charlie's long-time devoted friend Phillip Ledet who was a like a brother to him and through his steadfast support allowed him to remain at home.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be made in Charles name to the American Heart Assoc. of SC Memorial Processing Center, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA, 23060 and/or to The association of Retinopathy of Pre-Maturity and Related Diseases, (ROPARD), P.O. Box 250425, Franklin, MI 48025.

To view the funeral service please visit the following: