Cover photo for John Thorn's Obituary
John Thorn Profile Photo
1938 John 2023

John Thorn

1938 — February 2, 2023

There are no words for the immense sense of loss that we feel.

On February 2, John Thorn, of Wadsworth, IL, passed away at the age of 84. Recently he quietly battled bladder cancer and prostate cancer, never losing his sense of joy and humor as he fought. Ultimately, his heart had been taxed beyond its ability and he passed, surrounded by loved ones.

John and Sharron were married for 63 years, blessed with 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. One of 5 children, John grew up in Mississippi before moving to Illinois where he first met Sharron. Devoted to his country, John enlisted in the U.S. Army during his junior year of high school where he was a Specialist Four 8 th Infantry. He often reminisced of the antics of his service mates, scenery, and adventures. Upon his return, John worked for Advanced Heating Inc., and joined the Sheet Metal Workers Union #73 in Chicago, where in 2021 he received a 60 years of service award. He perfected his technical skills and became outstanding in the field of heating and cooling. His incredible work ethic and dedication to his craft led him to the opportunity to purchase Olson Comfort Services in 1979. Under his and Sharron’s ownership the company expanded and thrived, a source of great pride for him and his family. Upon his retirement in 2000, his son, Mark took over ownership with his wife and sons, keeping Olson Comfort a proud family-run company.

John Thorn dedicated his life to making, building and fixing. Always handy, he was ever ready to share a suggestion, tool, expertise, and a willingness to fix anything. He was a devoted member of the community and Memorial United Methodist Church, joining them on yearly mission trips to Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky to build homes for those in need.  John loved fishing with his buddies, bowling, golfing - even getting a hole in one, traveling, spending time at their cabin on the Mississippi river, and best of all, a storyteller. Everyone knows he would start to say, 'Did I ever tell you about the time when...' almost always laughing so hard by the end that he could not finish the story. His joy was endlessly contagious. He was a proud parent volunteer member of the Cub Scout Pack #68, Boy Scout Troop #79, distinguished Order of the Arrow member, received a Silver Beaver Award for outstanding adult leadership and continued selfless service to youth and the community. John was generous with his time, an incredible storyteller, and always ready to listen and help anyone who needed it any time, any place.  John’s humorous spirit was present up until the end when he signed with # of fingers to Mark and Lana he wanted four banana splits for what he was feeling that last day.

He is survived by the love of his life, Sharron Thorn, and children Mark (Nadine, deceased) Thorn, Derek Thorn, Lana (Mike) Clark. Grandchildren Luke (Angie) Thorn, their children Leo and Logan; Matt (Devan) Thorn; Paul (Jenny) Thorn and their children Payton, Lillee, Knox, and Beckett; Katherine (Jon) Cook and their children Wynnifred and Walter; and Geoffrey (Selena) Clark; his sister Marty (Richard) Butler; and many nieces and nephews. He was also loved by a close network of friends, from his fishing buddies to his and Sharron’s Wednesday night dinner group.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Irma Thorn, and sisters Dolly, Sue and Jo.

A celebration off life service will be held Saturday March 18, 2023 at 11:00AM at Memorial United Methodist Church, 2935 Sheridan Rd, Zion, IL 60099. Visitation from 9-11AM.

In the spirit of John’s community engagement, consider volunteering your time, talents, helping your neighbor, or lending a hand in your community to honor his amazing life.
To send flowers to the family in memory of John Thorn, please visit our flower store.


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