Donald Joseph Thorn


Donald Joseph Thorn, age 72, of Robinson, TX passed away on the morning of June 13 at the Waco VA hospice unit.

Memorial Visitation: The family will receive visitors, family and friends on Sunday, June 18 from 10:30AM to 12:00PM at Meadowbrook Baptist church in Robinson. The family welcomes anyone to stop by and share your memories, visit with the family, or drop off donations for the VA. This will be the only memorial “service” for Mr. Thorn.

Don was born in Richmond, Virginia on October 5, 1944 to George Joseph Thorn and Elaine Virginia Wienke Thorn Appel. He was the oldest of five children, and helped care for his younger siblings, who referred to him as “Doc” or “Doccy”. Mr. Thorn grew up traveling the world as his father served the country in the US Air Force, and attended junior high and high school in Itazuke, Japan. He entered the United States Armed Forces, leaving college at San Diego State University to do so. After serving his country in the US Army during the Vietnam War, he finished his education at the University of Texas at Austin, earning two bachelor’s degrees; one in radio television and film, and one in speech communications. While he was in the army stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia he met and married Edna Pearl Mobley on Jan 9, 1969. Together they had two children; Cassandra and Stacy. After his divorce from Edna in 1981, Donald never remarried.

Don spent most of his working career as a salesman. He always joked that he could sell anything to anyone, and that he made his first sale at the hospital the day he was born. It worked, because his mother took him home.

After leaving the military, Don raised his family in the area of Austin, Texas. When he left the Austin/ Round Rock area, it was to follow his oldest daughter Cassandra and his granddaughter to Cameron, Texas. He lived in Cameron for a few years until Cassandra got a job in and moved to Waco, Texas. So again, Don followed his daughter to Waco. By the time he moved to Waco Cassandra had given him two granddaughters, Chelsea and Audrey. Don bought a house in Robinson Texas and settled down in the community of Robinson where he attended Meadowbrook Baptist Church. While living in Waco Don was blessed with Cassandra’s 3rd child, his only grandson, RJ, and two more granddaughters from Stacy, Abigail and Liora, giving him a total of five grandchildren.

Don was a very social man who never met a stranger and if you stood still long enough he would talk your ear off. His daughter Cassandra always joked that that was actually what made him a good salesman… That people would buy anything just to get him to stop talking! He authored two books, one titled “Papa Don” and one titled “The freshman’s essential handbook to college”.

Don lived out the last two years of his life as a resident at the assisted living facility at the Waco Doris Miller veteran’s administration. He loved the people and the care he received there, they became his second family, and Don’s family would like to thank everyone there from the bottom of their hearts for the excellent care and companionship he received. Don was preceded in death by his parents.

Don is survived by his daughters, Cassandra Martin and her husband Greg of Waco, and Stacy Meisetschlaeger and her husband Mark of Liberty Hill; five grandchildren, Chelsea Harris of Waco, Audrey Wilson and her wife Mari of Waco, Ramiro Rangel Jr. (RJ) of Waco, Abigail Schwartz of Liberty Hill, and Liora Schwartz of Liberty Hill. He is survived as well by four siblings, twin sisters Connie and Terri, sister Stacy and brother, Jerry, as well as their children, his nieces and nephew.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations of any DVD or VHS movies, books, puzzles, games, art and craft supplies, HEB gift cards, or any other type of entertainment be made in Mr. Thorn’s name to Ms. Ruthie, who runs the “saloon” in building 10 at the Waco VA hospital.

Contact Information:

Lake Shore Funeral Home & Cremation Services

5201 Steinbeck Bend Dr
Waco, TX 76708
United States (US)
Phone: (254) 752-5900

Place of Service: Waco Memorial Park , 6623 S. IH-35; Robinson, TX 76706

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Condolence Messages

  1. Deidra Halbert

    Audrey and RJ,
    I have many fond memories of your grandfather throughout your school years. He would talk to me in the car line at the elementary and anytime I saw him around Robinson. He was a very kind man. I am very sorry for your loss.
    Deidra Halbert

  2. My big brother raised me & my younger brother, Jerry. Our mother had Doccy’s twin sisters right after a miscarriage of full term twin girls, which our mother sadly had 5 more mis-carriages before she had me & my brother, Jerry. That is the reason there is a 10-13 years difference between us. That is also why Doccy changed our diapers as much as mom did. He was there when we needed him, and taught us everything a parent would have. Swimming, singing, dancing, and art. He supported us at all our games, and all while winning every Boy Scout badge they ever gave out, and while making straight “A”s throughout his career. Everytime we talked, he asked us how our children were doing, and he always would remember what I told him. He was so proud of us, and the way we had moved to Utah after my husband, Wayne, and I got married, and had our 3 children. He loved Kanab, and would come as often as he could. We will miss that big bear. He loved all his girls, and was so proud of them, and all his grandchildren.

  3. Mr. Thorn,
    A man of great integrity. He found humor in almost everything. I am going to truly miss him coming to the recreation game room in building 10 for fun and games and on Sundays mornings for spiritual care. We would talk and laugh for hours. It was a blessing to have known him as long as I did and he will never be forgotten.

    Love you Papa Don,

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