Helen Thornton

September 12, 1925 ~ December 21, 2018 (age 93)

Helen (Bilka) Thornton, age 93, of Shelby, died Friday, December 21, 2018 at her home.

Born September 12, 1925, in Shelby to James and Mary (Korbas) Bilka she had been a lifelong resident of Shelby.  She was a 1943 graduate of Shelby High School and was employed by former Shelby Salesbook Co., 831st Wilkins Airforce Depot, and Westinghouse Electric Co. During World War II, she along with her sisters and some friends from Shelby (Canteen Girls), supported the soldiers passing through the Crestline Railroad Station by making and serving sandwiches to them. 

A member of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, she was also a member of the Altar and Rosary Society, AARP and volunteered with Meals on Wheels and the Christmas Community Program.  She was a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother and a homemaker who enjoyed gardening, sewing, cooking, baking and especially spending time with her family, who were the greatest joys of her life.

Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law Daniel and Ruth Thornton and Charles and Carolyn Thornton all of Shelby; four grandchildren Charles and Julie Thornton and  Jeremy Thornton of Shelby, Lisa and Brent Kagy of Tiffin and Jacqueline and Andy Ditmyer of Sault Ste Marie, MI; five great-grandchildren Connor and Logan Thornton, Danielle Kagy, Brady and Emma Ditmyer; one sister and brother-in-law Eileen and Kenneth Sullivan of Beavercreek, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.  

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death in 1983 by her husband Dallas whom she wed on June 14, 1947; two brothers Steven and Joseph Bilka and two sisters, Margaret Bilka and Kate Friebel, as well as two brothers-in-law Donald Thurman and Robert Friebel.  

Friends may call from 4:00 to 6:00 PM Thursday, December 27, 2018 at the Barkdull Funeral Home & Crematory in Shelby where the rosary will be recited at 6:00 PM. A funeral Mass will be held 10:30 AM Friday at the Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Father Chris Mileski will officiate with interment at Most Pure Heart of Mary Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial expressions may be made to St. Mary's School or the Church at 29 West St, Shelby, OH 44875. 




Donations may be made to:

Most Pure Heart of Mary Church
29 West Street, Shelby OH 44875
Tel: 1-419-347-2381

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