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Obituary for William Bryan Thornburg

William Bryan Thornburg, 90, of Robinson Texas, passed away peacefully at home on August 3, 2017. Burial will occur at a later date in North Carolina.

Bryan was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, on February 16, 1927, the son of Henry and Edith Fisher Thornburg. At the age of 17, he joined the Navy and, at the end of WWII, completed high school and then attended Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, North Carolina, where he was captain of the baseball team. Upon graduating from Baylor University in 1951, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. He was called to the ministry but commissioned in the Air Force, so for the next 21 years he served his country as a navigator in B-47s and B-52s, and served his Lord as a pastor in churches wherever he was stationed. In November 1952 he married Dorothy Earleen Walton in Houston, Texas. They were happily married for 62 years, until Dorothy’s death in 2014. In 1970 Bryan retired from the Air Force at the rank of Lt. Colonel, returned to Waco and continued his education in graduate school at Baylor University. He served the Lord for the next 40 years as the pastor of: First Baptist Church, Calvert, Texas, First Baptist Church, Clifton, Texas, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Waco, and First Baptist Church, Robinson. He retired from active ministry as the Minister to Senior Adults at First Baptist Church, Waco and remained a member of First Baptist until his death. Bryan was a devoted fan of his Baylor Bears. He was active in the community with the Rotary Club, Waco Baptist Association, and was honored to serve on the board of Hillcrest Hospital.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Thornburg; and sisters, Kathleen Galloway and Beth Bryan.

Survivors include his sister, Iris and husband, Leo Wiggins; son, Jon and wife, Diane Thornburg; daughter, Joy Thornburg; granddaughters, Karla Thornburg and Erica and husband, Sarom Soeun; and great-grandchildren, Audrey and Colton Soeun.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory may be made to the First Baptist Church, 500 Webster Avenue, Waco TX 76706, www.fbcwaco.org. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at www.WHBfamily.com.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of William Bryan Thornburg, please visit our Tribute Store.

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