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William Theodore ‘Bill’ Thurston, Sr. | 97 | Springfield

William Theodore “Bill” Thurston, Sr., 97, of Springfield, formerly of Jerseyville, died at 9:13 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 at Carriage Crossing Senior Living Center in Rochester, surrounded by his loving family.
Bill was born in Greene County, Illinois on May 7, 1925, the first born child to the late William Henry and Thelma Faye (Brown) Thurston of Jerseyville.
He attended St. Francis Xavier Grade School and was a 1943 graduate of Jersey Township High School. At this time, World War II was in full swing and young Bill found himself answering the nations call to service with the United States Navy. Bill was stationed at the prestigious U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, where he received extensive training to become a Corpsman at the hospitals neuropsychiatry department – a position he held until he was honorably discharged in May of 1946.
Bill married Clessie Turner on Oct. 9, 1948. The couple shared nearly forty years together and raised four wonderful children, prior to her death on Aug. 16, 1988.
Bill enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, raising rabbits and baseball. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and enjoyed riding the Redbird Express from East Alton to Busch Stadium to watch the boys play ball.
Bill never met a stranger and made it a point to connect with people of all ages. He will undoubtedly be remembered for his integrity, his art and humor, his outgoing personality and his unrivaled attention to detail.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Bill was preceded in death by an infant son, William Henry; a sister and brother in-law, Betty and Louis Crotchett; a brother, James Thurston; sisters in-law, Betty Thurston and Mary Jo Thurston; his father in-law and mother in-law, William and Pauline Turner; a sister in-law and brother in-law, Bonnie and Paul Hetzel; a brother in-law, Rev. William Turner Jr; a sister in-law, Sherry Koupal; a son in-law, Robert Simpson; a special cousin, Mary Margaret Dunse and his nephew, Douglas Hetzel.
Bill is survived by two brothers, Richard Thurston and John Thurston; three daughters, Jean (Carl) Runkel, Jane Runkel and Jill Thurston; a son, CMSGT William T. (Mary) Thurston II; a sister in-law, Kathleen Turner. He was a grandfather to ten grandchildren, Roberta (Gary) Connolly, Rebecca (Mike) Kulp, Justin (Jamie) Simpson, Renee (Scott) Wyatt, Allison Runkel, Sunjhata Thurston, Davi (Tom) Beasley, Kristen (Tom) Brosch, Erin Thurston and Amanda Thurston; fifteen great grandchildren, Jacob Connolly, Callie Connolly, Zachary Frost, Quinton Frost, Keira Kulp, Logan (Alyssa) Simpson, Benjamin Simpson, Madelynn Gilman, Hunter Wyatt, Mia Wyatt, Jace Franklin, Juniper Beasley, Audrey Brosch, Ava Brosch and Alex Brosch.
Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until time of funeral services at 11 a.m., Thursday, September 15, 2022 at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville with Rev. Joel Lohr officiating.
Burial will follow at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Jerseyville, with the Jerseyville American Legion Post #492 Color Guard conducting full military honors.
Memorials may be given to St. Francis/Holy Ghost Catholic School in Jerseyville, in care of the funeral home.
Memories may be shared with the family by visiting www.crawfordfunerals.com

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