Jeremy Allan Thornton passed away at 53, family, officers, community mourn
Jeremy Allan Thornton Death – On January 11, Jeremy Allan Thornton, the Norman County Sheriff, was laid to rest at the Ada-Borup-West High School. More than 500 mourners attended the service. On the morning of January 5, Thornton, 53, of Twin Valley passed away at home while receiving hospice care and being accompanied by family. Less than a month prior, on December 8, he received a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Family, close friends, and more than 150 uniformed police enforcement and first responders from organizations in and around Norman County crowded the center of the school’s arena. Both sides of the bleachers were crowded with locals.
Pastor Al Brooks addressed the congregation
As mourners walked by Thornton’s coffin to offer their condolences, police from adjacent agencies took turns keeping watch. Pastor Al Brooks addressed the congregation from a raised stage surrounded by flowers, stating that this was not a typical day for the town but rather a difficult one marked by the tragedy of Thornton’s passing. Brooks, who enjoyed woodworking in his spare time, carried a cross during his sermon. The pastor urged the community to give themselves time to grieve their grief after a loss he described as “surprising, unexpected, and shocking.” “Grief is a mixture of joy and sorrow,” Brooks said to attendees, adding it would be important to hold close beloved memories of Thornton in the coming season of grief.
The assistant police chief in Moorhead, Tory Jacobson, grew up next door to Thornton and spent a lot of time on his farm as a child. In a class of 30 students, they both graduated from high school together in 1987, and they then shared a room as they each pursued degrees in law enforcement. “Sheriff Jeremy Thornton was just like us,” Jacobson said, “a regular man willing to do the work.” Another of Thornton’s high school classmates, Monica Winter, spoke warmly of a person she recalled as polite, reserved, and intelligent. “He made our little corner of the world safer, happier and nuttier,” Winter said. “And we can’t thank him enough for that.”
Sam Babler, Thornton’s son-in-law, played two soulful guitar riffs. The chords in his voice vibrated through the bleachers and reverberated throughout the entire campus. Sniffles began to circulate when a radio dispatcher called out a status check for Thornton over the speakers at the conclusion of the funeral service. dispatcher stated, “Norman, 301, status check,” Thornton’s ID card had the number 301. No response. This call was made many times. “Norman: Norman 301 has been called home and is 10-7. Norman to all units. Sheriff Thornton, may you rest in peace. The makers of peace are blessed “stated the dispatcher. In his obituary, Thornton specified that his watch will cease on January 5, 2023, at 7:13 a.m.
Information about Jeremy Allan Thornton
Thornton, who was born in Ada in 1969, was raised in Twin Valley. He played basketball and track in school, and according to his obituary, he held the high jump record for many years. He obtained a law enforcement degree from Northland Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and commenced employment as a police officer in Sargent County, North Dakota. Thornton spent several years helping the community in the city of Foreman as a police officer, in addition to his duties as a law enforcement officer. He also spent many weekends helping police the city of Twin Valley during that time. In 1997, he relocated back to his hometown after accepting a job as a deputy with the Norman County Sheriff’s Office.
He married Angie Hettervid shortly after, and the two went on to have three kids. 2011 saw the initial election of Thornton as Norman County’s sheriff. He was elected to office three times and held it till his death. “Jeremy was never afraid of a challenge or hard work, and he leaves a legacy of powerful faith, solid ethics and unending love,” his obituary said. As an involved father, Thornton supported his daughters’ basketball and softball teams. He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church’s church council in Twin Valley. Thornton showered the four boys he became a grandfather to with love. Although their time together was brief, according to his obituary, Jeremy built many special memories with the boys and lovingly cradled the most recent grandchild when he was born just two weeks ago.
PC: WDAY TV News
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