Obituary Listings

Our Family Serving Your Family When You Need Help The Most.
James Lester Thornton
There are condolences waiting approval on James's Tribute wall
Obituary for James Lester Thornton

James Lester Thornton was born on December 21, 1946 in Woodville, Texas. His parents were Alton Leon & Lettie (Best) Thornton. James worked as a rancher for most of his life on different ranches. For the past fifteen years, he raised cattle and horses.

James was very passionate about ranching. It encompassed his entire life, and he considered himself one of the last real cowboys. He loved riding horses and participating in rodeos, which included bull, saddle bronc and bare back riding. James’ heart was not completely devoted to his job and lifestyle, however. His family was incredibly important to him, as well, particularly his many grandchildren. While taking care of them, he would always have a wonderful story to share. It was a delight for James to see their faces light up while listening to his many tales. James had lived in Madison County for the past forty-four years and associated with the Cowboy Church of Leon County.

James passed away on October 2, 2017 in Conroe, Texas. He was 70 years old. He was preceded in death by both of his parents. Surviving family members include loving wife, Merleen Thornton of Midway, TX; sons, James Randell (Kacy) Thornton of Lipan, TX and Christopher Brian (Angela Raye) Thornton of Midway, TX; daughters, Shawna Michelle (Tommy Lynn) Nesmith of Madisonville, TX and Lettie Diane (Brandon) Pate of Madisonville, TX; brothers, Charles Thornton of Austin, TX, Kay (Emma) Thornton of Woodville, TX and Jerry Lynn (Debbie) Thornton of China, TX and sister, Cindy Thornton of Redding, CA. James is also survived by grandchildren, Chase Nesmith, Kristen Traylor, Bethany Byrd, Lane Thornton, James Cade Pate, Brace Thornton, Kaydie Pate, Kaislyn Thornton, Clayton Pate, Rhandii Thornton, Ainsley Thornton, James Tatum Thornton and Blayne Thornton and great grandson, Braydon Roberts.

Funeral services for James Thornton will be held at 11 A.M. Saturday, October 7, 2017 at the Cowboy Church of Leon County. Pastor Tuffy Loftin will officiate the service, and interment will follow in the Allphin Cemetery near Midway. A brief visitation will be held at the church from 10 A.M. until service time at the church.

Pallbearers will be Tommy Nesmith, Lane Thornton, Cade Pate, Billy McClure, Jesse McClure, Sam Thornton, Jerry Thornton and Richard "Bugs" Weeks.

Madisonville Funeral Home in Madisonville, Texas is in charge of all arrangements.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of James Lester Thornton, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Cowboy Church of Leon County

1419 TX-7
Centerville, TX 75833





11:00 AM
Cowboy Church of Leon County

1419 TX-7
Centerville, TX 75833

Cemetery Details


Allphin Cemetery

7484 FM 2346
Midway, TX 75852


Create new album
1 File
Tribute Video
Subscribe To Obituaries

We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
James Lester Thornton

Thank you for sharing your
memory of James

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.