Rexford Thornton

Obituary of Rexford Thornton

Rexford Z. Thornton

Bainbridge—Rex passed away May 29th at the Valley View Nursing Home in Norwich with family by his side. He was born in Bainbridge on June 6, 1929, son of the late Rexford A. and Bernice (Spohn) Thornton. He graduated from Bainbridge High School with the Class of 1948.

On June 23, 1959, he was married to Beverly Besemer in Bainbridge where they made their life together.

All his life, Rex was a self-employed farmer. In addition to that, he worked for nearly 20 years as a Chenango County Sheriff's Deputy, a Village of Bainbridge Patrolman, and for 43 years, Rex drove school bus for Bainbridge-Guilford Central School.

Rex devoted much of his time to his community: working on projects, fixing buildings, volunteering with the soup kitchen and food pantry and always helping others to name a few. He was recognized with the Commitment to Community Award from the Bainbridge Chamber in 1996. He served as a Bainbridge Town Councilman for 34 years, as well as Town Justice from 1970-1974. He was also a past member of the Bainbridge Sportsman Club.

During his life, Rex took immense pride in his children's and especially grandchildren's activities. He was often heard loudly cheering at a wrestling match, basketball, soccer or softball game, or the stock care races, as well as the BG Band trips back in the day. He cheered on all participants, whether he knew them or not. He always looked forward to driving the bus to school events, always giving the kids a head start on encouragement and advice. He always enjoyed the many years when the Bainbridge-Guilford kindergarten classes came to the farm to make apple cider with him. Day to day, he always felt it was important to start out each student's day at morning pick up by being the first to say, "Good morning, how are you today?"

Rex could also talk your ear off for hours at a time. Whether it was about haying, family, weather, and of course politics, he always stuck up for what he believed in and made sure you knew it.

Rex is survived by: His loving wife of nearly 58 years, Beverly Thornton of Bainbridge; three children: Corleen and Jerry Winn of Bainbridge, Gregg and Christine Thornton of Bainbridge and Marleen Ostrander and Mark Laing of Franklin; 9 grandchildren: Gregory Winn and Molly, Dustin and Kristen Winn, Tiffany Winn and Stan, Garrett and Jaime Scott, Marissa Thornton, Kori Thornton, Trent Thornton, Bridget Gascon and Theresa and John Schaeffer; 16 great-grandchildren, special niece, Darleen Sylvester and many other special nieces and nephews.

He touched many lives in many ways, and the gratitude was returned from those of you who reached out to him. Thank you to everyone who helped one way or another in Rex's life. Thank you to the staff at Valley View Nursing Home for helping to make his stay as comfortable as possible; you were great. A big thank you to Cindy and Bill Butler for everything you have done for Rex and the family. Continue Rex's legacy by supporting your local sports teams, planting a tree or volunteering your time.

At his request, there will be no service. A private burial will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the charity of one's choice. Condolences may be shared with the family online at

Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.