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Obituary: William John Thorp

Published July 2012

FALMOUTH — William J. Thorpe, 79, of East Falmouth, died July 16, 2012, after a valiant struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He is survived by his wife Jean of East Falmouth, MA; brother Tony Thorpe of Amarillo, TX; sister Heather Evans of PA; brother David Heckard of PA; brother Perry Heckard of PA; and daughter Bonnie Thorpe of Boston, MA, as well as various nieces and nephews.

Born on November 29, 1932 in Ipswich, England, he spent his childhood years there before emigrating to the United States with his family immediately following World War II. After completing high school in his new home state of Pennsylvania, John (or Bill, as he was also known) enlisted in the Air Force and proudly served his country for the next 30 years as a jet engine mechanic. He was a veteran of the Korean War. He retired with the rank of Mastersargeant in 1988. John also served for 18 years as a member of the Falmouth Police Auxilliary.

Outside of his work, John had many interests. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved to bowl, and was a high-scoring member of various local leagues for many years. John was also passionate about cars; his souped-up red Firebird drew many unsolicited compliments (and offers of purchase) on his cruises around town. He played the guitar, and was a brilliant artist in pencil and watercolors. He also loved watching sports on weekends, and enjoyed expertly identifying the many different bird calls as he sat with his amazed wife and daughter on his peaceful backyard deck.

John also grew to love cats, and had three as pets over the years. His best buddy, Sammy, was never far away from his regular chair and often in his lap.

John was highly esteemed by friends, family, and acquaintances alike. He was always ready to share a laugh or a saucy story, and was kind and respectful to all who knew him. He was adored by his beloved wife and daughter, and will be missed forever.

Visiting hours will be Friday, July 20, 2012, from 12-1 p.m. at Chapman Cole & Gleason; 584 Route 28A; West Falmouth, MA. A funeral home service will begin at 1:00 pm in the funeral home. Burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery at 2:15 p.m., Otis National Guard Base; Bourne, MA.

Memorial contributions may be flowers or a donation to the Compassionate Care ALS (