Skip to main content

The Moose: 101.3 FM, 99.3 FM ● The Blizzard: 105.9 FM, 103.9 FM, 98.3 FM ● Payment

Norma Patricia Thornton

Published on June 14, 2023

Boonville - Norma Patricia Thornton, affectionally known as “Patsy,” 94, Webster Hill Road, widow of Ernest R. Thornton, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 4, 2023 surrounded by the loving care of her family.  

Patsy was born to Ervin Jacob and Bertha (Kent) Rimiller on the family homestead in the town of Lewis on February 9, 1929.  Her parents owned and operated a large sawmill.  After a devastating fire, they re-established the business in the hamlet of West Leyden, which became the first industry on the Mohawk River. The Rimiller family was famous for sawing logs for lumber and manufacturing cheese boxes.  

  After graduation from West Leyden high school as Valedictorian of her class of 1947, she enrolled in the Utica School of Commerce.  She was employed as Executive Secretary for eight years at the Torrio Furniture Company, Rome.  

Patsy married Ernest “Ernie” Thornton on June 10, 1950 at the West Leyden Dutch Reformed Church.  This began a journey together for over 72 years until Ernie passed away on November 5, 2022.  The couple lived in West Leyden for two years while they were building a home on the Thornton family farm which had been established for over 150 years.  Patsy embraced all aspects of farm life while raising their family.

Patsy cherished her family and is survived by her four children; Diana (Carl) Trainor, Mark (Amy) Thornton, all of Boonville; Brenda (Evan) Carpenter, Dryden; Karen (Marty) Racey, Winchester, Virginia and Guy and Scott Sessions who lived with the family for several years.  Also surviving are 13 grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren, and sister-in-law Vilda Helmer of Boonville and her family.  Patsy was pre-deceased by her parents, brothers William and Johnny and sister Elinor.

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

Calling hours will on Tuesday, June 20 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Trainor Funeral Home, 143 Schuyler St., Boonville.  Funeral services will immediately follow 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