“His dedication was second to none” Norman Co. ready to say goodbye to Sheriff Thornton
ADA, Minn. (KVRR) – Norman County is mourning the sudden loss of Sheriff Jeremy Thornton who died after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 53.
“It will be impossible to replace Sheriff Thornton,” Norman County Chief Deputy Ben Fall said.
It’s a sudden loss that Norman County will take some time to mourn.
Sheriff Jeremy Thornton began feeling fatigued around Thanksgiving and was diagnosed with stage four metastatic pancreatic cancer December 8th. It spread to his liver, lungs, kidney and lymph nodes.
“Sheriff Thornton kept his head high and was going to fight as hard as he could and anyone that knew Jeremy knows that he would give it his all,” Fall explained.
On January 4 Thornton began hospice care and died the next morning.
“We’re all very close. It’s been a great loss to us and we are getting through with the support of the community which has been unbelievable,” Fall said.
Thornton began his career with the Twin Valley Police Department in 1993 and joined the Norman County Sheriff’s Office four years later. He was elected sheriff in 2010.
Sheriff Thornton will be remembered for his passionate service.
“Jeremy was available. He would fill patrol shifts. He’d fill dispatch shifts when needed and he did everything in the office, so it’s a great hole that he leaves here. He was at work when he was having an appendix attack and was obviously sick and still came to work until he realized that it was a serious situation,” Fall said.
Thornton also brought back the Sheriff’s Office’s K9 program after the K9 officer died.
He also loved helping children.
“At the fair he was always big with the National Child Safety Council and providing pamphlets, coloring books, Halloween bags,” Fall said.
The sheriff’s funeral will be held at Ada-Borup-West High School January 11 at 3:00 PM. It will be livestreamed here. His casket will make one last loop around the courthouse before heading to Twin Valley where he will be buried.
Other agencies will patrol the county so everyone in Norman County can attend.
The Sheriff’s Office thanks Minnesota’s 87 counties and everyone who has given their condolences.
“Your caring and compassion is what makes this entire community a great place to live and work,” Fall said.
Chief Deputy Fall will lead the sheriff’s office until the County Commission decides on a replacement.
Instead of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Norman County K9 program or pancreatic cancer research.