John Wesley Thorne Sr.


Mr. John Wesley “Jack” Thorne Sr. walked graciously into the arms of his Lord and Savior on his mother’s birthday, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. At 98 years old, he was the eldest resident of Tangier Island.

Born Aug. 31, 1924, on Tangier, he was the son of the late James Thorne and the late Hattie Virginia Chambers Thorne. In addition to his parents, Jack was predeceased by his wife, Josephine Daley Thorne; son, Mike Thorne; sister, Isabelle Parks; and brothers, Don and Bob Thorne.

Jack loved the Lord, his country, his family, and his community, and he remained dedicated to all throughout his life. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was assigned to the USS Texas, which was attacked during battle in the Pacific Theater. A lifelong member of Swain Memorial United Methodist Church, Jack never wavered in his faith, always keeping the Lord close to his heart and often speaking His word to others. Following honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to his roots and began working on the water, alongside his father. After his father retired, Jack continued to work as a commercial fisherman until he hung his boots in 2000. Jack cherished his family and friends and was grateful to be a part of his beloved Tangier community, leaving a legacy of honor and compassion for generations to follow.

Jack is survived by his son, John W. Thorne Jr., and his wife, Beverly, of Crisfield, Md.; sisters, Grace Pruitt, Ginny Marshall, and Alice Crockett, all of Tangier; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Thorne, of Tangier, and Frances Thorne, of Danville, Va.; grandchildren, Ashley Buscher (Robert), Greg Allman (Jaclyn), April Thornton (Chris), and Jonathan Thorne; great-grandchildren, Brittany Thornton, Brooklyn Allman, and Bennett Buscher; several nieces and nephews and their families; and Kimberly Pruitt, who was his caregiver for many years.

A service to celebrate Jack’s life, with military honors, will be held at Swain Memorial United Methodist Church on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Charles W. Parks III officiating.

Contributions in Jack’s memory may be made to Swain Memorial UMC, P.O. Box 199, Tangier, VA 23440.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements are by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley.
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