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Jerdis Kathleen Thornton, age 79 of Buffalo, MN, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her family on April 11, 2023.

She was born on January 29, 1944 in Alexandria, MN to Theodore and Harriet (Nygaard) Anderson. She grew up working on her family’s farm, helping with the daily chores. This is where she developed her strong work ethic and love for the outdoors. Jerdis graduated from Glenwood High School with the class of 1962.

In 1964, she met her future husband and love of her life, Lonnie Thornton. They were joined in marriage on April 2, 1966 at Norunga Lutheran Church in Lowry, MN — her home parish where she was baptized and confirmed. They were inseparable, and spent many hours volunteering at St. John’s Church events, bowling on leagues together, going to rodeos, and attending their grandchildren’s activities. They recently celebrated 57 years of blessed marriage. Jerdis bowled for 47 years on a bowling league and 24 years at the USBC Open Championship. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Jerdis was known for gentle and kind heart. Naturally this made her excel at her job of being a nurse’s aide at Ebeneezer Care Center, now Lakeridge Care Center in Buffalo. She gave the utmost care to her patients for 33 years. She was known for putting other people’s needs ahead of hers, and often reached out to those who needed the most support. Jerdis was someone you could always count on to be there to lend a helping hand.

Her thoughtfulness was unmatched; she tailored many recipes and baked goods to fit certain dietary needs so that everyone could enjoy a little bit of her delicious home baked goods. She was an excellent hostess; you never left her home empty handed and always made sure you had something to eat. She would give away her fresh canned garden vegetables or baked goods to anyone that visited, or she would drop off the items just because she was thinking of them. Jerdis was also known for making and giving away quilts to family and friends. The quilts were made with love and care, which will be cherished for many years by those who were on the receiving end of her gift.

Above all else, her family and faith meant the world to her. Her devotion to being a wife, mother, and grandmother was very important to her. She blessed her family with knowledge of cooking, baking, gardening, and overall, being a good and kind person to everybody.

Jerdis is preceded in death by her parents; brothers-in-law, Romaine Thornton, Carol and Judy Thornton, and Wayne Peterson.

She is survived by her husband, Lonnie; children, Todd (Keli) Thornton, Kathy (Chuck) Green, and Kelly (Ed) Schlegel; grandchildren, Jamie, Dustin Green (fiancée, Mika Bordak), Chris, Emily, and Megan Schlegel; siblings, Ann (Don) Hurley, LaVerne (Duane) Tollefson, Myron Anderson and (Diane DePree), and Leon (Lisa) Anderson; sisters-in-law, Bonnie Morehouse and Linda Peterson; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

Memorial service will be held Friday, April 21, 2023 at 11:00 AM with visitation beginning at 9:00 AM at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buffalo, MN. Inurnment will take place at Norunga Lutheran Church Cemetery in Lowry, MN on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 11:00 AM.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo, MN. Online condolences to the family may be directed to



7 Guestbook Entries

  1. Bill andArlys LaPlant

    Dear Lonnie and family, our deepest sincere sympathy!

  2. Annie Hurley

    I am so Thankful that I am able to share the celebration of my sister’s life with you and not as I usually have to – across the miles. God Bless each of you as you now wait to be reunited with her once again in Heaven.

  3. Annie Hurley

    I’m thankful that I am able to spend time with you celebrating the life of my sister Jerdis and not from across the miles as I so often have to at times like this. God bless each one of you as you wait here to join her in heaven one day.

  4. Teri Rassatt

    Dear Lonnie and family,
    Jerdis is a special person and will be missed.
    Deepest Sympathies.

    Teri Rassatt

  5. Rita Varner-Otness

    Kathy and family, I am sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I am praying for peace and comfort for you at this difficult time. Loosing a Mom/Grandma is never easy.

  6. Marlys Mooney

    Lonnie and family – such sad news to see that Jerdis passed away. Praying for peace and comfort for you and your family. Hard to loose such a special person!

  7. Nila Bursheim (Raisanen)

    Sorry for your loss.


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