Nicka Thompson Thornton, 66, of Greensboro, N.C., passed away Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at her home, following a courageous battle against breast cancer.
She was born April 12, 1946. at Portsmouth, Va., daughter of Ann Summers Thompson and Dr. Arch Thompson.
After growing up in Elkins, she attended Wake Forest University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology in 1968.
She married her husband, Thomas Thornton Jr., in 1967 and worked to support them while he finished Wake Forest Law School. In 1969, Nicka and Tom moved to Greensboro, N.C., to settle down and raise their children.
Nicka, over all things in her life, valued nurturing her family and friends. Her other loves included her passion for reading, playing tennis, golf and challenging her brilliant mind with puzzles. A huge part of her life was giving back to the community, and she volunteered and held leadership roles in many different organizations throughout her life while remaining a devoted wife and mother.
With her children raised, she looked for a new challenge for ways to give to others and enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and obtained a master's degree in counseling, in 1993. Shortly after graduation, she proudly served as the director of Career Services at Greensboro College for 11 years and loved and cherished assisting and counseling students in finding jobs and guiding them in their career paths. She touched the lives of countless young people and left a profound impact on the college, where she was known to the students simply as "mom."
Nicka had the gift of touching the life of everyone she encountered; all of whom felt they were Nicka's best friend because of her warmth, sincerity, compassion and generous spirit. She cherished everyone and had endless groups of friends; including - her two Garden Clubs, bridge clubs, book clubs, the "Hill-lillies," the "Deaconesses," her golf and tennis groups, church committees and especially her "play group."
In addition to being a devoted wife and care giver to her dear husband, Tom, Nicka's most cherished role in life was as a mother and a "Mimi" and "Nana."
She is also survived by her son, Thomas Spruill Thornton III and wife, Wendy, grandkids, Ruby and Georgia, of Birmingham, Ala.; daughter, Shelby Thornton Patrick and husband, Chip, grandkids, Halsey and Thompson, of Charlotte, N.C., and Michael Thompson Thornton, and wife, Kay, grandkids Charlotte, Harry and Kemsley Nicka Thornton due in November; and parents, Dr. and Mrs. Arch Thompson of Greensboro.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 20, at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. The family will receive friends in the Virginia Gilmer Room following the service.
Nicka was never one who was comfortable with the spotlight or for recognition for her acts of kindness. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorials to: Duke Cancer Institute, 512 S. Magnum St. Suite 400, Durham, NC 27701, noting on memo line: In memory of Nicka Thornton; or to the Health Ministry Team, in care of First Presbyterian Church, 617 N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401
Online remembrances to the family may be made to www.haneslineberryfuneralhomes.com.