American Patriotic 11

Donald Hugh Thorne

July 14, 1929 ~ October 6, 2019 (age 90)



Mr. Donald Hugh “Don” Thorne, 90, husband of Evelyn Daley Thorne and lifelong resident of Tangier Island, VA, passed away on Sunday, October 6, 2019, with his loving family at his side. Born July 14, 1929 on Tangier, he was the son of the late James W. Thorne and Hattie Chambers Thorne.

Don proudly dedicated his life in service to his country, both overseas, and at home. He enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War, where he fought to preserve our freedom and protect our nation. He received the rank of Sergeant, serving four years active duty and two years in the U.S. Army Reserves. Upon discharge he began his career as a drag tender with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the dredge "McFarland". After 29 years with USACE, Don retired, only to begin the island’s first pizza delivery service, "No Name Pizza." He enjoyed photography, calligraphy and selling his ever-popular handwritten recipes and maps. Don enjoyed meeting new people as an island tour guide, dazzling the tourists with his animated, and sometimes embellished, stories of Tangier.

Don was a member of the Swain Memorial United Methodist Church. He loved spending time with his family and friends and especially looked forward to 4th of July and all things Christmas. He spent many days walking about the island taking pictures, a passion he passed down to a few family members. Well known for randomly singing in Spanish or adding his own spin to the classics, and occasionally spouting off a line or two in Korean, there was never a dull moment when in his presence. It may be a song, an old photograph, a handwritten recipe, Christmas decorations, or a just piece of duct tape left behind on one of the many things he “fixed,” but no matter what, Don’s memory will live on through the countless ways he impacted those around him. 

In addition to his wife of 65 years, he is survived by his children, Donald H. “Thornie” Thorne, Jr. of Tangier, Sherrie Pruitt and husband Tony of Onancock, VA, Cynthia Thorne of Tangier, and Shelia Smith and husband Norman of Heathsville, VA; sisters, Ginny Marshall, Gracie Pruitt, and Alice Crockett all of Tangier; brothers, Jack Thorne of Tangier and Bob Thorne and wife Frances of Alta Vista, VA; grandchildren, Shanna Pruitt Watson and husband Bradley, Brandon K. Pruitt, Zachary Thorne Smith and Luke Austin Smith; great-grandchildren, Bradley Jr., Lola Marie, William and Waylon Watson; several nieces and nephews; and many dear friends. Other than his parents, he was predeceased his sister, Isabell Thorne Parks and infant brother, Edward Thorne. 

A memorial service will be held at the Swain Memorial United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., with The Reverend Nona Allen officiating.

Contributions in Don’s memory may be made to the Swain Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 199, Tangier, VA. 23440.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

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



To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral section.


Memorial Service
November 2, 2019

2:00 PM
Swain Memorial United Methodist Church
16152 Main Street
Tangier, VA 23440


Swain Memorial United Methodist Church
PO Box 199, Tangier VA 23440

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