Cover photo for Jon Thorne's Obituary
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1939 Jon 2024

Jon Thorne

September 11, 1939 — April 25, 2024

Jon Loring Thorne, longtime resident of Abilene, passed away suddenly on April 25, 2024, from complications from his Type 1 diabetes. He was 84 years old. He loved deeply and was well- loved by his wife of 62 years, Donna Reid Thorne and the rest of his family.

 Jon was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1939, as the youngest of three. From an early age, he loved to take things apart to see how they worked and only sometimes got them put back together in working order—at least initially. His passion for electronics never wavered. After attending Allegany College, he moved to Syracuse, NY, and worked at Mace Electronics. There he met Donna on a blind date. They were married six months later. A few months into their marriage, Jon got a draft notice for the Army for the new war in Vietnam. He declined the Army and joined the USAF as a non-commissioned officer. Jon retired from the Air Force after 20 years and one week as a Senior Master Sargent in 1982, at the age of 42 and started Thorne Electronics with Bob Harkness. Later, he bought the company outright. He and his son Jeffrey worked together for a time and that gave him a great amount pride.

 While in the Air Force, he was tasked with keeping the B-52 radars functioning and as he rose in the ranks, led a strong team of others as well. He and his family were stationed in Denver, Colorado, in Tucson, Arizona, Rapid City, South Dakota, Okinawa, California and lastly at Abilene back in 1975. He served on Temporary Duty in Thailand and Guam during the Vietnam War and reminded his family often of his love for each of them, including sending funny captions on backs of postcards to his children.

 Abilene quickly became home for Jon and Donna and they have countless friends whom he loved dearly and laughed heartily with often. He was a member of the Scottish Rite, the Masons, and a longtime member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church with his family. He served the Abilene Philharmonic Board including as President for two years.

There are many fond memories of time spent on vacation in Cancun, Mexico, at family reunions in Clymer, NY at the Peak N Peek Resort, and lots of lovely dinners and lunches at their favorite restaurant, Perini Ranch. There was no place Jon would go that he didn’t make lifelong friends of those whom he met, whether waitstaff or fellow patrons. He was a shining example of living and loving to the fullest and will be missed by so many.

 Jon is survived by his wife, Donna, his children Carrie Lynne Leader and Jeffrey Reid Thorne, their spouses, Richard Leader and Terri Thorne, Carrie and Richard’s children and their spouses, Adelia and Scott Lease, Michael and Somer Leader, Megan and Parker Ferrell, Mark and Natalie Leader and by Jeffrey and Terri’s daughters, Mia Acuna, Makenna Thorne and Emma Thorne. He is also survived by great-grandchildren, Logan Sechelski, Lacie Sechelski, Blakely Leader, Emma Ferrell, Elijah Ferrell, Sloane Leader, Henry Leader and Greer Leader. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews and their families. Jon is survived by his sister Lori Thorne-Smith, her partner, Dr. Bea Knight-Johnson and sister-in- law Barbara Thorne and predeceased by his brother Charles Thorne and parents Loring and Thelma Thorne.

The Celebration of Life service will be held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday, May 31, 2024, at 11:00 AM at 1202 S. Pioneer with Rev. Carrie Leader presiding. After a light lunch reception, there will be a procession to Texas State Veterans Cemetery where his interment service begins at 2:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to The Abilene Philharmonic, 1102 N. 3rd St, Abilene, TX 79601 or to Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jon Thorne, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

2:00 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene

7457 W. Lake Road, Abilene, TX 79601

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