Obituaries

James A. Thornhill

James Alfred Thornhill Jr. passed away in his Wife's loving arms on April 2, 2019 at the age of 64, after a 3 year battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He fought strong, hard, bravely, always stayed positive and never gave up the fight!

Jim was born on December 13, 1954 in Newport News, VA to Pauline and Alfred Thornhill. He graduated College from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA with a B.S. Accounting Degree. After graduating he was hired as a CPA for Yount, Hyde & Barbour from 1982 - 1985. He then was recruited by Graphic Packaging/James River Corporation from 1985 - 2008. He worked his way up the ladder from Senior Internal Auditor, Administrative Manager, Controller, Project Manager, to Plant Manager/Controller. In 2008 he was recruited to Operations Controller in Chicago.

In 2014 Jim was recruited to be the Wind Group Controller for MFG, SD. All through his career he excelled and was Certified in the Radius Team, MEI Team and became the first Divisional Six Sigma Black Belt. He led 30 Projects resulting in $6.5 Million in Annual Savings. He taught Black Belt & Green Belt Certification Classes. He earned numerous Awards throughout his career some including The Gold Key Award for Cost Reduction which was the most prestigious Award given by the James River Corporation. Jim wrote a concept paper and final application for the 48C Tax Credit for Advanced Energy Property. The concept paper was evaluated and approved by the DOE. The company was one of 45 companies asked to submit a final application. Based on Jim's final application and very hard work, the company was one of 12 companies that were awarded the Tax Credit of $750K. He was asked to attend the Award Ceremony in Washington, DC to accept this Award. Jim loved his work and was known for his dedication!

Jim loved his music and played the Saxophone. He enjoyed going to multitudinous Concerts with his Wife Deb throughout all the years! His favorite band was the Grateful Dead! Jim absolutely loved his Virginia Tech Hokies and Green Bay Packers! He also enjoyed Golfing and Traveling.

Jim is survived by his Wife and Best Friend Deb, Son Dylan Thornhill, three Daughter's Val (Tim) Nakashima, Ashley (Paal & Espen) Lunde, Lindsey Lienhardt and Six Grandchildren, Brother-in-Laws Rick (Gerri & Kendall) Mason, Mike Mason, and many Nieces & Nephews.

He was preceded in death by his Father James Alfred Thornhill, Mother Pauline and his Sister Wanda (John) Gatewood. 

I want to especially thank Jim's Surgeon, Oncologist, Radiologist, GI Team, His many Mayo Team of Doctors and Nurses for giving us 3 more years together!

A special thank you to our MFG Family for all of your love and support!

A memorial service honoring Jim's life will be held at 12:00 pm on Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Cress Center, 6021 University Ave., Madison, WI 53705. A Celebration of Jim's Life will follow the service. Please share your memories of Jim. 

Cress Center
6021 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 238-8406


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