Orlena Mae "Klickie" (Klickman) Thornton, age 100, passed away
peacefully, surrounded by her family, in Augusta, Georgia, on March
16th, 2021. She was born on May 31, 1920, on a farm outside Port
Clinton, Ohio, to the late William Albert and Ruth Elizabeth (Gyde)
Klickman. She graduated high school at the age of 16 and put herself
through college at the University of Toledo, where she was a member of
the Tau Delta Sigma sorority. With her education degree she taught
school in Oak Harbor before becoming one of the first United Airlines
stewardesses during WWII.
In 1946 she met Lt. Col. Clark O. Thornton in New York City. After a
whirlwind romance they were married for 58 years. Together they lived
the military life, raised four children, and moved frequently. They
enjoyed traveling the world together and made many friends along the
She was predeceased by her husband and grandson Colin and leaves
behind her children: Bill (Jacky Becker); Mary (Ed Boothe); Tom (Patti
Richards); and Ann (David Byrd); eight grandchildren; and fifteen great
grand-children; niece Christine Klickman and nephew Cal (Vic Sawyer)
Klickie was always on the go. She stayed busy hosting many
military, diplomatic, and Officers' Wives Club functions, playing
bridge, and volunteering into her 90's. Some of her many activities
included coordinating Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops when her
children were young. In Washington, D.C. she organized the chapter of
retired United Airlines stewardesses, Clipped Wings. She helped form
the Special Olympics and took pride in serving as an "Arlington Lady"
assisting grieving military families at Arlington National Cemetery.
In the 60's Klickie got her Master's degree in Guidance and Counseling
and enjoyed teaching gifted children. She then became the first
counselor at Brookwood High School in Brookwood, Alabama. After
retiring, in addition to keeping up with her many friends, she stayed
active in her church, St. Mark UMC, Northport, Alabama. She also
volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Hospice of West Alabama, University
Women's Club, the Southern Culture Club, and as a poll worker.
Klickie lived a long life serving others and set a fine example for
academic excellence, community leadership, and philanthropy. The
family is very thankful for the love and care given her these past few
years at Brookdale Assisted Living of North Augusta. Serving as
honorary pallbearers are: Members of the McCollum Sunday school class
of St Mark; Kay Culton; Lib Powell; Madeleine Passerini; Francis
Eatmon; and Dot Powell. The legacy she leaves will live on in the
hearts of all who knew and loved her.
A memorial service will be planned for St. Mark UMC. Interment will
be at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Hospice, Meals on
Wheels, University of Toledo, or the University of Alabama.
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