Richard Eugene Thurston, retired minister, passed away on July 25, 2020 at home in Azle, Texas. He was 80 years old.
A visitation will be held on Friday, July 31, 2020 at Azle and Lake Worth Funeral Home beginning at 10 a.m. A service will begin immediately after the visitation at 11 a.m. After the service there will be a brief graveside ceremony. The family requests that you wear a mask and maintain social distancing.
Richard was born May 13, 1940 in Ashley, Ohio to the late William Claude Thurston and Hazel Velma Thurston (nee Osborn). He was married to Janet Marie LaFever on June 2, 1961 at Mt. Zion Advent Christian Church in Quaker City, Ohio. Richard trained as a piano tuner in Illinois and learned to restore pianos in Marion, Ohio, and then took on an apprenticeship and eventually struck out on his own and later in life taught piano tuning at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. However, piano tuning was not his primary calling, that was the ministry. He received his Bachelor of Theology degree from Berkshire Christian College in Lenox, Massachusetts in the spring of 1967. During his career as a minister, he pastored churches in Ohio, New York, Michigan, and Texas. He became the Central Region superintendent for the Advent Christian Church in 1986, mentoring many leaders. He also mentored his children. He had so many practical skills and was gifted at patiently teaching those skills to others.
In addition to serving others, he enjoyed spending time with his family. Even as recently as his 80th birthday, in May of this year, our immediate family was able to gather together to celebrate and it brought him a great deal of joy. He loved playing all types of games, including board games, cards and even video games. Our family had such fun together. Even in the last year of his life, he still loved playing Farkle, especially when he won. He always maintained a sweet sense of humor.
He grew up on a farm, and therefore always enjoyed gardening and caring for animals. He had so many other interests and hobbies they are too many to mention. He loved life and embraced it with both hands. He will be dearly missed by all of his family, friends and colleagues.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, William Claude and Hazel Velma Thurston, his sisters Betty Royer and Rosina Gillen, and his brothers, Daniel and David Thurston.
He is survived by his wife, Janet Thurston, his children Rita K. LaBelle (Michael), Rebecca E. Majewski (Michael), Richard E. Thurston, Jr. (Stephanie), Rhoda J. Lewis (Tom), and Robert S. Thurston (Lisa), 17 grandchildren , 14 great-grandchildren, his brother, William R. Thurston, and sister, Trudy Oliver as well as many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation in memory of Richard to American Parkinson’s Disease Association or Advent Christian General Conference.
You can watch the service live with the link provided: https://facebook.com/events/s/richard-thurstons-funeral-live/228620451597968/?ti=icl
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