Obituary Listings

Edward Thornhill, III

September 11, 1933 March 31, 2018
Edward Thornhill, III
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Obituary for Edward Thornhill, III

Asheville – Edward Thornhill, III, 84, passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at Memorial Campus of Mission Hospitals.

Ed enjoyed all the blessings of this life.

The first thing he would say is “Thank you for the music.” Ed’s mother enrolled him in St. Paul’s Flatbush boys’ choir at age 9. He participated through high school progressing from boy soprano to bass as his voice changed. He sang the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah in all four parts over the years. He sang in church choirs in communities in which he lived, the UNC-A Community Chorus, and served on the founding Board of the Asheville Symphony Chorus in which he sang until 2010. He knew hundreds of nonsensical ditties with which he entertained those around him on a daily basis.

Ed served in the US Navy during the Korean War joining for a Kiddie Cruise with terms of enlistment 1 month before the 18th birthday and discharge 1 month before the 21st birthday. During this service Ed visited 18 countries before his 21st birthday. He was fond of saying he was in the Navy when the ships were wooden and the men were steel. While in the Navy he was encouraged to apply to Duke University.

Ed now is Forever Duke. He graduated from Trinity College in 1958 and Duke Law School in 1960. He attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of both graduations. He had planned to attend the 60th anniversary of his undergraduate graduation in April.

Ed began his career as a Trust Officer with Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem in 1960. He also served as an Assistant Treasurer at Cornell University before beginning the practice of law in Haywood County in 1972. He practiced for 39 years closing his office at the end of 2011. He was privileged to have Judy McElroy as his legal assistant for 37 of those years and to influence Judy’s daughter Angela to pursue a legal career.

Ed offered his services to the following civic and community activities over the years:
• Episcopal Church and Diocesan affairs
• Haywood Chamber of Commerce
• Haywood County Board of Elections
• Town of Canton Board of Aldermen
• The Haywood Regional Theatre including parts in HMS Pinafore, The King and I, and South Pacific among others
• Haywood Community College Board of Directors

Ed and Nancy enjoyed traveling beginning with their honeymoon in Germany and France, then a couple of years later a home exchange with a couple from New Romney, Kent. Later Ed and Nancy were privileged to participate in a pilgrimage to places significant to the Anglican heritage led by the late Rt. Rev. William G. Weinhauer. This pilgrimage included 3 separate trips to England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Their travels also included Duke Alumni trips to Provence and the Italian Lake District, another self-guided trip to France (Normandy, the Camargue, and Paris), NC Bar Association sponsored cruises on the Baltic and the Danube, a Rotary Friendship Exchange to Saumur, France, a Rotary medical/dental brigade to Honduras, a reminiscent trip to Brooklyn and Long Island, and most recently (Sep 2017) a Road Scholar cruise of the 5 Great Lakes. Ed grew up swimming in the waters off the north shore of Long Island and shared a love of the ocean and jumping the waves with his children and grandchildren during many summer vacations at Sunset Beach.

Ed was a lifelong learner and voracious reader who collected hundreds of books. His preferences tended to history, especially military history, theology, philosophy, and the classics. He completed all the course work for an MA in Liberal Arts from UNC-Asheville. He was most concerned about what would happen to all his books after his passing.

He is survived by his wife of 28 ½ years, Nancy A. Brooks; one daughter, Carolyn Thornhill Marth and husband, Charles Foster Marth, of Waynesville; one son, Edward Cline Thornhill of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and four grandchildren, Eliza Katharine Marth, Edward Oliver Marth, Edward Cline Thornhill, Jr. and Patricia Louise Thornhill.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Reverend Dr. R. Scott White, Rector and the Reverend Dennis Fotinos officiating. A reception will follow the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Ed may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church Street, Asheville, NC 28801 or the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina at PO Box 14608, Greensboro, NC 27415-4608 or

The care of Mr. Thornhill has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Edward Thornhill, III, please visit our Tribute Store.

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11:00 AM 4/7/2018 11:00:00 AM
Trinity Episcopal Church

60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Trinity Episcopal Church
60 Church Street Asheville 28801 NC
United States

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