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Ernest R. Thornton

Published on November 09, 2022

Boonville-   Ernest R. Thornton, 94, of Webster Hill Road, husband of Norma Patricia (Patsy) Thornton, affectionately known as “Ernie,” passed away peacefully at his home, on Saturday, November 5, 2022 while surrounded by the loving care of his wife and family.  


Ernie and Patsy were joined in marriage on June 10, 1950 at the Reformed Church of West Leyden.  Shortly after, they started construction on their home which is 100 feet from the original farm house where he was born on November 24, 1927.  

He was the son of Ervin and Laura (Larsen) Thornton.  His early education was in a one-room school house on Webster Hill Road, he then graduated from Boonville Central School, in 1944 at the age of 16.   Ernie lived his entire life on the Thornton farm, being the 6th generation to operate the dairy.


 For 11 years, he hauled old time milk cans from local dairy farms and delivered the milk to the Boonville milk plants.  In the spring of the year, he would load over 100 cans per day, each weighing 80 pounds.  His family enjoyed hearing many tales of the 1957 milk strike.  In 1955 he constructed a 135-foot addition to the original dairy barn.  The herd was expanded to 120 head and the prefix “Ern-Mar Acres” was established as the beginning of a highly respected registered Holstein herd.  Ernie took great pride in watching his children exhibit dairy animals at local, state and national shows.


Ernie was an avid hunter of deer, bear, bobcat, moose and caribou on his farm, also at North Lake and trips to Novia Scotia and Newfoundland.  He was accompanied on many of his hunting adventures by his best friends and hunting companions Ed Bink, Dick Oaster and son, Mark. 


Ernie was a long-time member of the Reformed Church of West Leyden.  He was a member of the West Leyden Pinochle club for over 60 years. 


Surviving Ernie are his wife, Patsy, of over 72 years; his children Diana (Carl) Trainor, Mark (Amy) Thornton all of Boonville, Brenda (Evan) Carpenter of Dryden, NY, and Karen (Marty) Racey of Winchester, Virginia and Guy and Scott Sessions who lived with the family for several years.  Also surviving are grandchildren, great grandchildren, his sister Vilda Helmer of Boonville and her family.


The family wish to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the members of the West Leyden and Boonville ambulance crews and Ernie’s dedicated and loving caregivers.  Flowers are gratefully declined, however, memorial contributions may be made to the West Leyden Fire Department Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 205, West Leyden, NY 13489, or to the Reformed Church of West Leyden, C/O 4546 Mudd Lake Road, West Leyden, NY, 13489, or the Boonville Fire Department Ambulance Fund, P.O. Box 164, Boonville, NY 13309.


Calling hours will be Saturday, November 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Trainor Funeral Home, Inc., 143 Schuyler St., Boonville.  The funeral will follow immediately at the funeral home and will be officiated by Rev. David Corcoran.  Interment will be in the West Leyden Cemetery. For an online message of sympathy please go to