Una Grace Thornton
Grace Thornton, a former resident of Stallion Springs, passed away on Jan. 3, after a sudden heart attack in her home in Laguna Woods.
She and her husband J.C. Thornton are the founders of the Stallion Springs General Store. They moved to the area in 1978 and operated the store and gas station, while residing in the living quarters upstairs. Over the years they expanded the store to include many other services to the community. Among the additions was a gift shop, classes for art lessons, rental space for a beauty shop, real estate office, auto repair garage, and a fast food restaurant where people could stop and enjoy a freshly cooked "J-burger," prepared by her husband J.C.
After J.C. passed away in 1993, she continued to operate the store with the help of her daughter Sherrrill Thornton until 2007, when the property was sold. During this period of time Grace continued to add services at the store to benefit the community. Many will remember the fleet of U-Haul trucks parked just to the right of the gas pumps. If the right size was not available, she would drive to Mojave to get it.
J.C. and Grace Thornton were born near Little Rock, Ark. In 1939 J.C. moved to Long Beach to seek new opportunities toward the end of the Great Depression. She followed him within a few months. They married on Nov. 20, 1939. Although they each enjoyed separate careers in the Aerospace and Communication industries, they shared a drive to learn and improve their lives. They were entrepreneurial at heart, which led them to the much loved venture in Stallion Springs.
Grace is survived by two daughters, five granddaughters, one grandson, five great grandsons, five great granddaughters, and one great great grandson.
Memorial Services will be held at Green Hills Cemetery in Rancho Palos Verdes, California on Jan. 19, at 9 a.m.