William Thorne

Obituary of William Raleigh Thorne

William Raleigh "Bill" Thorne, 85, of McKinney Cave Road, Reedsville, WV passed away June 1, 2024, at Mountain Memories Assisted Living and Retirement Center in Elkins, WV. He lost a lengthy health battle after losing the love of his life, Anna Mae, on April 25, 2024.


Bill was born July 6, 1938, to the late Harold D. "Doug" and Mary Virginia "Sally" (Sell) Thorne in Davis, WV.


Bill graduated from Aurora High School before moving to Masontown where he worked for his parents in the Sterling chicken hatchery. There he met Anna, who he married in 1959, after starting his career at the Pittsburgh Valve plant in Reedsville, later named Sterling Plumbing Group. He grew his career over 39 years from shop floor to Plant Manager. His career ended in 1998, as he oversaw the closing of all local operations and moved on to independent consulting for his previous employers on out of state projects. Over the years, Bill was proud to have learned skills from the many owners of the business, including JW Ruby and Rockwell International, where he developed skill sets of metallurgy, engineering and business management.


Bill will be remembered by conservationists and fisherman nationwide for his life-long dedication to trout fishing and building of the Trout Unlimited (TU) brand in West Virginia. He received many lifetime achievement awards from organizations like TU, Friends of Cheat and Friends of Deckers Creek for his devotion to clean water, thriving fisheries, and catch-and-release fly-fishing. Bill promoted conservation learning for children through programs like Get Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs and Trout in the Classroom. He may have started out fishing to fill the freezer for his family, but Bill later became dedicated to preserving the water, the fish and the sport and he passed along his love of the land and waters of West Virginia to his children and to many others who shared his love of conservation. Bill was a man of faith who attended, supported and volunteered at both Masontown and Reedsville United Methodist Churches. After losing his wife in April, Bill felt his work on God's earth had been completed and longed only to join Anna in walking the streets of Heaven.


Bill is survived by two children, Anita May of Charleston, WV and David Thorne, Elkins, WV; special friend of David, Libby Nucilli of Elkins, WV; special daughter, Kim Bjorgo; siblings, Margaret Matheny of Bruceton Mills, John (Carolyn) Thorne of New Haven, WV, Paul (Mary Lee) Thorne of Mt. Pleasant, NC, Rose Ann (Larry) Simms of Fort Ashby, WV. Also surviving is his beloved cousin, Bill called him his "brother from another mother" John (Beverly) Lawrence of Davis, WV.


In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Anna; daughter, Lisa Ann; his oldest brother, Jim Thorne of Millersville, PA and his oldest sister, Delores Swecker of Bowden, WV.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill's name to WV Caring Hospice, PO Box 760, Arthurdale, WV 26520.


His services will be overseen by Field Funeral Home in Masontown, WV. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 from 6 - 8 pm and Wednesday, June 5, 2024 from noon until the 1:00 pm time of service led by Pastor Lisa Fox. Graveside services will be private, with burial at Masontown Cemetery.


Condolences may be extended online to the family at www.fieldfuneralhome.com.

A Memorial Tree was planted for William
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Field Funeral Home
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