Paul William Thornton, aged 68, of Hobbs, New Mexico, passed away on May 20, 2023, after unknowingly battling cancer for at least a year.
Paul was born in Chowchilla, California on April 1, 1955, to his parents, Olen Deward Thornton and Elizabeth Stella Thornton. After graduating from Portales High School in 1974, Paul then went on to begin his working career starting off at Poyner Whites in small engine and car repair in Portales, NM. In 1978 he met his destined love of all time, Sheila Kaye Griffin in Portales, NM. After a brief courtship, they were wed on February 14, 1979, and went on to have three sons, Paul Wayne Thornton, Jonathon Paul Thornton, and Michael Paul Thornton. Paul was forever to be known as “Honey” by all the Griffin family, as he was loved as another son.
In 1980 the Thornton family moved to Hobbs, NM so that Paul could begin his career in the oilfield at Halliburton Energy Services, to which he dedicated the next 35 years of his life. Starting off in Frac, then Cement, and then moving on to Sales. He was known for his problem-solving abilities and quickly became known as the person to go to when trouble arose. When the blowout happened in Lovington, NM in 1998 he became known as “The Duke” due to John Wayne’s portrayal of Red Adair of the famed Boots N’ Coots oil well control company. He walked into the flames and fought to regain control of the blowout and after a week, the well was brought back under control. After a long, distinguished career at Halliburton Paul retired to run a popular local business, Snochinnos which he ran with his wife and sons.
Paul had a love for all things mechanical and carpentry. He had the know-how and the ambition to provide his family with a home that was forever expanding and keep the family truckster purring. Paul was always willing to jump in and help family members as well. With four sisters and two brothers of his own and then adding Sheila’s four sisters and two brothers there was always something to be built or fixed.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; Olen Deward Thornton, Elizabeth Stella Thornton; sisters: Brenda Heacock, Veda Stanburry, Linda Cristofferson; and brother Jerry Thornton; and his beloved son Jonathon Paul Thornton.
He is survived by his loving wife: Sheila Kaye Thornton; sons: Paul Wayne Thornton, and Michael Paul Thornton; sister: Eva Blase-Jacobus; brother: Alvin Thornton; grandchildren: Taliah Marih Thornton, Momo Rose Thornton, Eden Thornton, Liam Thornton, Holynn Thornton, Kaileigh Thornton, Riley Thornton, Anna Irwin, Grey Irwin, and Zackary Lott; daughters-in-law: Shuree Thornton and Katie Pinson; former daughters-in-law: Sarah Rodriguez and Kerri Goodgame; and a multitude of nieces and nephews.