Cynthia “Cindy” H. Thornton

Cynthia “Cindy” H. Thornton, 67, was called to heaven in her sleep at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cynthia “Cindy” H. Thornton, 67, was called to heaven in her sleep at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Saturday, March 31, 2018, with her husband by her side. 

Cindy was born to Claire and Helen Pederson, July 11, 1950, at Sacred Heart Hospital, in Eau Claire. 

She spent her childhood enjoying the country life in Eleva. She graduated from Memorial High School in Eau Claire, in 1968. 

Cindy spent her early adult life in Las Vegas, Nev., where she raised her son, John, and enjoyed adventures with her sister, Debbie. 

Cindy and John Henry relocated back to Eau Claire in 1985. She then attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work in 1989. She immediately went on to earn her master’s of social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. 

Cindy worked as a social worker for the Eau Claire Public Schools in the 1990s, where she was a strong advocate for families and children with special education needs.

She married her best friend, Thomas Thornton, in 1992, and they built their forever home along the shores of Lake Holcombe. Cindy became a grandmother to her only grandchild, Colin, in 2001. 

Cindy loved being a grandma. She put 100 percent of her love, joy and attention into her many adventures with Colin. They would play trains for hours, build Lego creations and enjoy their favorite movies together. As Colin grew older, she was his biggest fan at many band events at Chi-High for the past three years.

She had a passion for many things in life, including dogs, music from the ’70s and ’80s, Wisconsin farm life, western movies and TV, Christmas decorating, sugary sweet treats, and sunny days on the pontoon boat on Lake Holcombe with family and friends. Cindy was a friend to many and she had a feisty sense of humor.

Cindy bravely fought cancer for 11 years, with the same strength she used to raise her son, work as a social service provider, care for her aging mother, keep up with her grandson, and support family and friends in hard times. She has earned a pain-free and peaceful slumber.

She will be dearly missed by many extended family and friends in the Eau Claire, and Holcombe areas and beyond.

She is survived by her husband – Thomas Thornton, who was her angel on earth and best friend forever; her son – John Orth; daughter-in-law – Angie; grandson, Colin, who has scrapbooks loaded with precious memories to last a lifetime; stepson – Dave Thornton, Eau Claire; brothers – David (Sandy) Pederson, Barnes, and Robert (Becky) Pederson, Holcombe;  sisters – Louise (Bob) Boller, Huntsville, Ala., and Debra (Randy) Rutecki, Las Vegas, Nev.; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Claire and Helen (Olson) Pederson. 

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the Sacred Heart Hospital oncology and critical care staff, as well as Miranda Hamilton, who provided loving homecare assistance for Cindy during her final months, and Cindy’s entire healthcare team for the past 11 years. They also thank Chippewa Valley Cremation Services for their assistance at this sensitive time.

There will be a celebration of Cindy’s life at her parents’ graveside at Trinity Lutheran Church of Norden in Mondovi, when the warm weather arrives, because she would have disliked the idea of people standing outside in the cold to honor her. Family and friends will be notified of specifics as they become available. 

Those seeking to make any type of memorial or expression of condolences, are encouraged to donate in Cindy’s name to the Chippewa County Humane Association. 

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services of Altoona, is assisting the family. 

Online condolences may be expressed at


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