Alma Inez Burt Thornhill

Published 9:38 am Friday, May 20, 2016

Graveside services for Alma Inez Burt Thornhill are Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at 10 a.m. at Easthaven Cemetery in Brookhaven. Bro. Greg Warnock will officiate the service. Click Funeral Home and Cremations of Knoxville, Tennessee, is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Thornhill, 91, died Monday, May 16, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennesee. She was born May 1, 1925, in Brookhaven to Effie McLaughlin Burt and Thomas Decater Burt.

Mrs. Thornhill was valedictorian of her senior class at Auburn High School and graduated from Co-Lin.  Widowed at a young age with three children, she went to the University of Southern Mississippi and earned her master’s degree. She taught typing and business at Topeka Tilton High School and Co-Lin, worked for Dickerson Bowen and finally as secretary to the County Agricultural Extension Agent in Lincoln County before her retirement in 1990.

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In the early ‘60s, women could not borrow money on their own, so Mrs. Thornhill physically built her own house with a little store credit here and there with the help of her large family. It took many years but she and her children lived in it from the time it was “in the dry.” She never owed a mortgage, and the house is still standing. She was one tough lady, and her daughters naturally worked in home design and construction. Her son gets to drive the tractor—that’s fair.

After retirement, Mrs. Thornhill enjoyed traveling with groups organized by local banks and churches to see our great country and Europe. In her late 80s, she lived in an apartment at the charming Inez Hotel where most everything she needed was within walking distance. In her 90th year, she moved to an assisted living community in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Preceding her in death are her parents; husband, J. H. Thornhill Jr.; brothers, Hoover (Mildred) Burt and Julius (Myrtle) Burt; and her sister, Opal Burt.

Survivors are her children, Judy (Phil) Barnette of Knoxville, Tennessee, Kenny Thornhill and Rhonda (Cliff) Myers of Cary, North Carolina; four grandsons, Chris (Paula) Myers and their daughter, Sydnee Beauchamps, of Cary, North Carolina, Michael Barnette of Oakland, California, Keller Barnette and Paul (Evelyn-Anne) Barnette, all of Knoxville, Tennessee; brother, Roffie (Joyce) Burt; sisters, Agnes Williams, Barbara McCracken of Texas, Hilda (Bill) Penner of California and Sandra Ratcliff of Florida; and bunches of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Condolences may be made to the family at