Mark Thornton

Mark Allen Thornton

April 21, 1968 - July 11, 2020
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Mark Allen Thornton, 52 years old, of College Park, Maryland died in his home on July 11, 2020. Mark was a devoted husband and father. He was born April 21, 1968, in Washington, D.C., and was one of four children adopted by the late James Thornton and Teresa Lynn Thornton.
Mark grew up in Maryland and was a loving brother to his three siblings, Karen, Brian, and Janet. He attended Holy Family Catholic School and graduated from Churchill High School in Montgomery County Maryland. He subsequently joined the Army, which included two tours in Iraq during the Gulf War. He received The Southwest Asia Medal and two Bronze Stars for military operations and campaigns during Desert Storm. After an honorable discharge as an E5, he served an additional four years in the U.S. Army Reserves. While in the Army, Mark was stationed in Germany, where he met his wife Elke, and her daughter Nicole. They married in 1989. In 1994, they welcomed a daughter Samantha Lynn. As a US civilian, with top security clearance, Mark became a Systems Administrator, with a 25-year career in IT/Computer Science.
Mark had many hobbies. He was a master builder of remote-controlled planes and tanks. In recent years, he bought an RV and enjoyed exploring the country with his family. He took up gardening this year and even built a greenhouse. He also loved his many dogs. Most memorably, Mark was a walking encyclopedia, with a photographic memory. Anything he read, he retained. His thirst for knowledge seemed unquenchable. He was our Mr. Fix-It and was able to dissect anything he could get his hands on. Mark was an especially devoted son, to his mother. He and Elke visited faithfully every Sunday, to share a meal, discuss current events, and to help with anything that she needed.
His death is a tremendous loss to his family. In addition to his father James Thornton, Mark is preceded in death by his sister Karen (Bill) Stegman. Mark is survived by his wife, Elke of 31 years; his daughters Nicole and Samantha; his mother Teresa Lynn Thornton; brother Brian (Toni) Thornton; Sister Janet Willing; His nieces Stephanie (Kirk) Hammond; Rita Thornton; Nephews, Benjamin Stegman; James Thornton; Great nephews, Hugh and Wesley Hammond; and Kingston Thornton who adored him. Mark is also mourned by his godmother Margie BrisBois; and was loved in life by his many aunts, uncles, and cousins from his large extended family. We, along with his friends, will always remember his big heart, his generosity, and his boisterous laughter.
Mark’s life will be celebrated with a private Catholic Mass, followed by a private Military Funeral Honors and Committal Service at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery, in Crownsville, Maryland, with his father.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities.
Please take a moment to sign the family's online guestbook by visiting the link on this page.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Maryland Veterans Cemetery Crownsville
    1122 Sunrise Beach Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Win, Nancye and Ryan sent flowers to the family of Mark Allen Thornton.
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Sandy sherman

Posted at 09:21pm
I’m so sorry for the pain all of you are feeling. As the Thornton children were like my sisters and brothers growing up I am devastated to hear of Marks passing. My love to Lynn and Brian and Janet. Prayers to the whole family.

Bob Byrnes

Posted at 05:10pm
Mark will certainly be missed by his family and friends. I enjoyed my time with him immensely when we visited. He delighted in taking me to watch him fly his B-17 and then the tour of the warplanes at the museum. Rest In Peace my friend

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 04:17pm
Please accept our deepest sympathy. Mark was a valued coworker and friend, and will be greatly missed.
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Cliff Hull

Posted at 09:29am
So sorry for your loss. Mark was an expert in IT and an wealth of knowledge in so many other topics. He was always willing to help me with my IT problems and I always told him he "exceeded customer expectations". We will miss him and his excellent support to our LPS operations here greatly. May the Lord comfort you in the midst of this loss.

Charles Krafft

Posted at 10:45am
I had the good fortune of knowing Mark for the past 22 years and will dearly miss him and extend my heartfelt condolences to his family. Mark had an open door and was always willing to stop what he was working on to help whoever stopped by with whatever computer problem that they were having. He worked diligently making sure that the system at the Lab was always operational and we were protected from the many threats that are out there. Mark took his job seriously and devoted countless hours outside the normal workday responding to issues as they arose.
Mark held court in his office, discussing among other things, the politics of the day, with a deep and keen insight into the complex issues in the middle East and elsewhere, with whomever wanted to sit down and have a discussion with him. I cherish and will miss those conversations. Rest in peace, Mark.

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