Neil Raymond Thornton
1934 ~ 2021
Neil Raymond Thornton passed away peacefully on April 13, 2021. He was born in Ogden, Utah in 1934, to Walter Dewey Thornton and Gladys Wolverton. He attended Ogden High School. Neil served in the US Army as a Combat Engineer in Germany and the U.S. from 1956 to 1958. He was honorably discharged in 1963.
Prior to being drafted, while attending a football game at Weber College, Neil met a young Carolyn Schneiter. They dated for two months before Neil received his draft papers. After returning from the military service, Neil and Carolyn resumed dating and were married in 1959. They were later sealed in the Ogden Temple.
Carolyn’s father, Ernie Schneiter, Sr. built and opened Schneiter’s Riverside Golf Course in 1961 giving Neil the opportunity to join the family business. Neil attended PGA School and became the Assistant Golf Professional at Riverside. For the next 30 years, Neil would teach private, group and junior golf lessons to scores of Ogden area residents. He won the Utah Section PGA award for Teacher of the Year in 1991. Neil was easily recognizable due to his suntanned skin and thick silver hair. He was known to many as ‘the Silver Fox’.
Neil and Carolyn raised three children, Tammy, Brad and Michelle. He taught them all how to play golf. Both Brad and Michelle played for the Bonneville High School golf team and Michelle went on to compete in college. He also taught his grandchildren to play golf and was so proud to have two grandsons, Braden and Beau, play on their high school golf teams. Neil’s other favorite pastime was fishing. After Neil retired, he enjoyed many fishing trips with Brad, son-in-law, Jim and his grandsons. Retirement also gave Neil and Carolyn a chance to travel extensively. Carolyn has the fondest memories of this time spent together.
Neil is survived by his dear wife, Carolyn, whom he adored all of his being; his daughter, Tammy (Jim) Hanchett; son, Brad (Julie) Thornton; daughter, Michelle Thornton and by his grandchildren, Joshua, Brianne, Cierra, Braden, Caleb, Hayley, Jillian, Andrew, Beau and Nic, as well as five great-grandchildren and another on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Ruel, Jay and sister, Melba Speechly.
A special thank you to Everest Home Hospice, especially CNA, Tammy. The family also wishes to thank Neil’s daughter, Tammy and her husband, Jim for bringing Neil into their home so he could be surrounded by the love and care of his family.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the Washington Terrace 13th Ward, 125 East 5350 South. Friends may visit with family on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. and Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Interment, Lindquist’s Washington Heights Memorial Park, 4500 Washington Blvd. The family would prefer that masks be worn.
Services will be live-streamed and available by scrolling to the bottom of Neil’s obituary page.
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