Virginia Ruth (Thornborough) Howerton

December 13, 1925 ~ April 21, 2021 (age 95)


Virginia Ruth Howerton of rural Carbondale/Carterville passed from this world into eternal life on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 9:15 a.m. at home with her daughter, Claudia and granddaughter, Tobey at her side.

Virginia was born December 13, 1925, to Claude and Adeline Thornborough in Decatur, Illinois. She was born again in the waters of baptism at the age of 14 at Grace United Methodist Church in Decatur. At that young age, God blessed her with a deep faith and spiritual wisdom.

She married Fred Allen Howerton, Jr. on September 8, 1945. They celebrated 61 years of marriage until Fred’s death in April 2006. Early in their marriage while Fred was overseas in the Air Force, Virginia worked as bookkeeper and office manager for Dr. Forest Martin M.D., Staley’s manufacturing and later on, church secretary at Christ Lutheran Church (Decatur). She kept her gift of organizational skills and perfect memory up until the very end of her life.

In 1947, a son Michael Allen was still-born at birth. Two years later in June 1949, they welcomed son Stephen Dwight into their lives. In October 1954, a daughter Claudia Sue, was born. At that time, Virginia stayed home with both of their children, enjoying being “their mom.” She volunteered at their schools as much as she could, helping in the school library and being a room mother.

When daughter Claudia married and moved to southern Illinois, both Fred and Virginia loved to visit and tour all the state parks and beautiful sights. When Fred retired in 1988 they had a home built “out in the country” near daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren. Family health responsibilities called them back to Decatur where they lived for another few years until making their return in 2002.

Virginia always had a caring and giving heart. If you complemented her on something she had, she was ready to give it to you. She loved driving her baby blue Camry and taking her friends to the John A. Logan Aerobic Center and then to the Country Cupboard afterwards, for a piece of pie! She was always willing to drive to Reid’s Harvest House in Chester, Lamberts in Sikeston, or anywhere they had “good food with vegetables, bread pudding, pie or cobbler.” She was a faithful prayer warrior and a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Marion.

At the age of 88 she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law to help them after his dementia diagnosis. She wanted to be of help and support. She was all that and so much more! Her entire life was one of service and devotion to family and friends. She lived her faith each and every day.

Her family members left to cherish her life and memory are: her daughter, Claudia; granddaughter, Tobey Sisk (Warren); grandson, Scott Howerton (Cheryl); granddaughter, Michelle Howerton-Gottman; great-grandchildren, Merrett, Sophia and James Simpkins, Nora Sisk, Tyler and Sydney Howerton; daughter-in-law, Cindie Howerton; and niece, Cathy Burgess.

Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; sons, Michael and Stephen; and grandson, Seth Merrett; and many other cherished family members and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1501 Broeking Road, Marion, Illinois 62959 or Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc. 204 Halfway Road, Marion, Illinois 62959.

Memorial services will be held at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marion, with Pastor Kim Lee Brown officiating.  

“I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Virginia Ruth (Thornborough) Howerton, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
April 25, 2021

6:30 PM
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
1501 Broeking Drive
Marion, IL 62959


Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
1501 Broeking Drive, Marion IL 62959

Hospice of Southern Illinois
204 Halfway Road, Marion IL 62959

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