On the morning of August 25, 2022, at 7:35 a.m. Grace Mae Thornton fulfilled her vision of walking down the streets of gold to her heavenly home. In 1962 God gave Grace a vision. She saw her mansion, and an angel told her that it was not her time to enter, she had a work to do. She spent her life doing the work she was called to do and keeping her heart ready for her heavenly home. Grace was born on August 24, 1937, to Wade Alton and Charlie Mae Yates in Atlanta, Texas. She and her six siblings learned the value of hard work and the importance of family. At a young age, she learned to use her talents to serve God and His kingdom.
In 1955, she met the love of her life, Cullen Devon Thornton, at a church youth rally in Shreveport. Cullen told his brother, “I am going to marry that girl singing lead.” It was love at first sight, and he was right. On June 19, 1956, they began a romance that would span 65 years. Grace served alongside her husband as he evangelized and pastored, lending her efforts in building(churches), music, worship, and prayer. She was a devoted pastor’s wife who often used her talent for cooking to serve the kingdom of God. Many ministers and evangelists remember eating delicious meals at her table, and she cooked many church dinners to raise funds for church projects and mission works. For Grace, serving God and His people was part of every aspect of her life.
Grace was also a gifted homemaker. She and her husband built many houses, and she had a special gift for creating a home, a warm gathering place filled with love, laughter, music, and delicious food. She was a gifted quilter who created works of art that she presented to share her love and prayer with people she loved. She was a devoted wife and mother who left a legacy of love.
Nothing brought Grace more joy than spending time with her beautiful family, and she could often be found with a baby in her arms. She wanted to spend her final days with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Cherishing the memories of their beloved mother are four children and their spouses: Carol Wheatly, Becky (Randy) Andrus, Teci (Donald) Culpepper, and Curtis (Marilyn) Thornton. She will never be forgotten by her grandchildren: Nikki (David) Bourgeois, William Hall, Brandon (Kelly) Andrus, Meagan (Travis) Griffin, Becca (Blaike) Andreas, Donnie (Natalie) Culpepper, Summer (Matt) Rion, Mallory Thornton, Chevy (Kendi) Thornton, and 20 great grandchildren. Her family was the light of her life.
She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, one sister, and her beloved husband Rev. C.D. Thornton. She is survived by her siblings Lynda Yates Croom and Jackie Yates, many nieces and nephews, and her family. Grace has fulfilled her life’s calling, and she has now returned to that heavenly home she envisioned so many years ago.
Her funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at First Pentecostal Church of Lake Charles. Reverends Jeffery Ralston and Jerry Wayne Dillon will officiate. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens on Sunday at 1:00 PM, under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 11:00 AM until the start of the service.