"Big Hank": Loyd Thornton became leader of his large family


Loyd Thornton (1956-2023)

Loyd Henry Thornton, 66, was born on September 19, 1956, in Louisville, Mississippi, the son of Walter M. and Willie Mae (Hollins) Thornton, Sr.

In 1962, the family moved from Mississippi to Beloit, Wisconsin before settling in South Beloit, Illinois where Loyd grew up and graduated from South Beloit High School in 1974. In high school, Loyd excelled in basketball. After high school, Loyd was offered a basketball scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

He was employed at General Motors in Janesville, Wisconsin for 15 years. He then went to work at the Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois, retiring in 2021, after twenty years of employment.

Loyd passed away at his home on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

He will be fondly remembered as a hardworking, generous, and kind man who put everyone else's needs before his own. Often known as "Big Hank," Loyd became the leader of the family after his father's passing in 2008. Loyd deeply loved his family and was a fan of the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs.

Loyd is survived by his wife, Tangelia Thornton; mother, Willie Mae Thornton; children, Darius Marzette, Antarius Allen, and Antoinette Allen; seven grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; siblings, Marshall (Becky) Thornton, Willie (Carol) Thornton, Tommy (Vickie) Thornton, Anthony (Brandi) Thornton, Andrew Thornton, and Alisa (Joe) Wilson; along with numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his father, Walter M. Thornton, Sr; brother, Walter M. Thornton Jr; paternal grandparents, Lloyd and Ella Mae Thornton; along with several aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

Funeral services are 12 p.m., Saturday, August 12, 2023, at 2170 Murphy Woods Road, Beloit, WI, with Pastor Terry Moorehouse officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Hansen-Gravitt Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the family. 

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