August 5, 1916 - November 20, 2013
George Riley Thurston, age 97, died peacefully on November 20, 2013. He was a resident of Avamere at Bethany in NW Portland at the time of his death. George was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 5, 1916 to Dr. Harrison S. Thurston and Ella Cecilia (Shannon) Thurston. He was a graduate of Shortridge High School and Butler University (Class of '39). He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. in 1939 and was commissioned as an officer in 1942. George continued his service in the U.S. Air Force rising to the rank of Lt. Colonel before retiring in 1965. Thereafter, he served as a civilian auditor for the Department of Defense until his second retirement in 1978. George married Margaret Berry of Rushville, Indiana in 1941. She died in 2006. They had four children, George, Jr. (Portland), Donald Clark Thurston (deceased), Bernays Kennedy Thurston (York, Pennsylvania) and Sharon Margaret (Thurston) Norman (Beaverton). As a military family, the Thurstons moved frequently, living in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Japan, Michigan and Texas. A consummate entertainer and showman, George "The Great" Thurston performed on the banjo, the guitar, and glockenspiel. He also played various stage performance roles and appeared in multiple commercials in the Indianapolis area. Upon moving to Portland in 1996, George performed with Dr. Jazz and the Interns and the Rose City Banjoliers. George was a member of The Murray Hills Christian Church in Beaverton. Other memberships included the Masonic Society, National Sojourners, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Sigma Chi Fraternity.George is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.A memorial celebration is planned for 2:00PM Saturday, December 14 at Murray Hills Christian Church, 15050 SW Weir Rd., Beaverton, OR. 97007. Gifts in George's memory may be sent to Murray Hills Christian Church, 15050 SW Weir Road, Beaverton, OR 97007 or to KMHD 89.1 Jazz Radio (www.kmhd.org).
George Riley Thurston, age 97, died peacefully on November 20, 2013. He was a resident of Avamere at Bethany in NW Portland at the time of his death. George was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 5, 1916 to Dr. Harrison S. Thurston and... View Obituary & Service Information
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