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.