William Theodore “Bill” Thurston Sr.

Jerseyville | Sunday, September 11 2022 |

William Theodore “Bill” Thurston Sr., 97, formerly of Jerseyville, died at 9:13 p.m., Sunday, September 11, 2022, at Carriage Crossing Senior Living Center in Rochester, surrounded by his loving family.

Bill was born in Greene County, Illinois on May 7, 1925, the firstborn child to the late

William Henry and Thelma Faye (Brown) Thurston of Jerseyville.

He attended St. Francis Xavier Grade School and was a 1943 graduate of Jersey Township High School. At this time, World War II was in full swing and young Bill found himself answering the nation's call to service with the United States Navy. Bill was stationed at the prestigious U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, where he received extensive training to become a Corpsman at the hospital's neuropsychiatry department – a position he held until he was honorably discharged in May of 1946.

Bill married Clessie Turner on October 9, 1948. The couple shared nearly forty years together and raised four wonderful children, prior to her death on August 16, 1988.

Bill enjoyed gardening, fishing, hunting, raising rabbits, and baseball. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and enjoyed riding the Redbird Express from East Alton to Busch Stadium to watch the boys play ball.

Bill never met a stranger and made it a point to connect with people of all ages. He will undoubtedly be remembered for his integrity, art and humor, outgoing personality, and unrivaled attention to detail.

In addition to his parents and his wife, Bill was preceded in death by an infant son, William Henry; a sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Louis Crotchett; a brother, James Thurston; sisters-in-law, Betty Thurston and Mary Jo Thurston; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, William and Pauline Turner; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Paul Hetzel; a brother-in-law, Rev. William Turner Jr; a sister-in-law, Sherry Koupal; a son-in-law, Robert Simpson; a special cousin, Mary Margaret Dunse and his nephew, Douglas Hetzel.

Bill is survived by two brothers, Richard Thurston and John Thurston; three daughters, Jean (Carl) Runkel, Jane Runkel, and Jill Thurston; a son, CMSGT William T. (Mary) Thurston II; a sister-in-law, Kathleen Turner. He was a grandfather to ten grandchildren, Roberta (Gary) Connolly, Rebecca (Mike) Kulp, Justin (Jamie) Simpson, Renee (Scott) Wyatt, Allison Runkel, Sunjhata Thurston, Davi (Tom) Beasley, Kristen (Tom) Brosch, Erin Thurston and Amanda Thurston; fifteen great-grandchildren, Jacob Connolly, Callie Connolly, Zachary Frost, Quinton Frost, Keira Kulp, Logan (Alyssa) Simpson, Benjamin Simpson, Madelynn Gilman, Hunter Wyatt, Mia Wyatt, Jace Franklin, Juniper Beasley, Audrey Brosch, Ava Brosch and Alex Brosch.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of funeral services at 11 a.m., Thursday, September 15, 2022, at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville with Rev. Joel Lohr officiating.

Burial will follow at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Jerseyville, with the Jerseyville American Legion Post #492 Color Guard conducting full military honors.

Memorials may be given to St. Francis/Holy Ghost Catholic School in Jerseyville, in the care of the funeral home.

Memories may be shared with the family by visiting

Obit Provided By:
Crawford Funeral Home

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