Obituary | James Milton Thorne


June 21, 1931 - September 13, 2018

With his family by his side, James Milton Thorne (Jim) passed away on September 13, 2018 after a brief illness.

Jim was born on Father’s Day in Salinas to Clinton and Georgia Thorne. He proudly spent his entire life in Greenfield. He was one of the oldest independent farmers in South Monterey County and loved the region.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Hilda, his daughter, Gail, sons Brian (Karen) and Alan (Teresa) and grandchildren, Samuel and Patricia. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Maxine Miller, brother-in-law Eugene Young and many nieces, nephews and cousins as well as his dog buddies, Libby and Shortie. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Nancy Young, sister-in-law Jeanette Hitchcock, and brothers-in-law Dick Hitchcock and Ray Miller.

Jim attended Greenfield Elementary School, King City High School and the University of California, Davis. When he was a teenager, he began working on the family farm and as a 14-year-old was allowed to drive the sugar beet truck with a provisional license due to World War II and a labor shortage.

After college, Jim began his career in farming which spanned 67 years. He started in a partnership with his father, then as the sole proprietor, and lastly in a partnership with his son Brian.

Jim was a charter member of the Independent Growers Association, as well as a member of numerous local and state commodity and livestock associations and trade groups. In his community, he served on the Board of the Greenfield Public Recreation District and Greenfield Fire Protection District and was a member of the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation. Jim was also a 4-H horse group leader and a little league director.

When he could take a break from farming, Jim enjoyed water skiing and boating, fishing, horseback riding, team roping, his river-to-river bike rides, golfing, traveling and, most of all, attending Sam and Patricia’s school and sporting events.

Besides the ranch, Jim’s “favorite place in the world” was the Thorne cabin in Arroyo Seco. There were no better days for Jim than those spent barbecuing and swimming at the cabin with friends and family.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds, Expo Building, in King City. A reception will immediately follow. Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements were entrusted to Eddington Funeral Services, 429 Bassett St., King City, (831) 385-5400, www.EFS-Cares.com

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