Edward Thornhill

Published 2:06 pm Friday, September 28, 2018

Dr. Edward E. Thornhill bade goodbye to this world and went to his heavenly home at 3:30 p.m., on the Sept. 25, 2018. He was 83 years of age.

He was born on Jan. 16, 1935, in Bogalusa, the eldest child of Edward Thornhill Sr. and Aline Evans Thornhill.

He graduated as Valedictorian from Angie High School and entered Lousiana State University in 1953. He graduated from LSU with a B.S. degree in premedical curriculum. While at LSU, he became eligible for honorary societies Phi Eta Sigma, Mu Sigmato Rho, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and attained qualifications for Phi Beta Kappa. He was elected president of Mu Sigma Rho and Alpha Epsilon Delta. He was selected for induction into the honorary service society Omicron Delta Kappa. He was on the Honor Council and elected President of College of Arts and Sciences, and thereby to the student council. He was a member of the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon and served as Treasurer. He was a member of the Baptist Student Union, and involved in basic R.O.T.C. He graduated in 1957 and entered the LSU School of Medicine.

During medical school, he was selected for the honorary scholastic order The Undergraduate Medical Society, and for the national honorary scholastic society Alpha Omega Alpha. He received his medical degree in 1961, and served a rotating internship at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle, Wash., until 1962. He returned to New Orleans and a residency in Internal Medicine at LSU and the Charity Hospital of Louisiana, from 1962 until 1965.

He subsequently began work at Southern Louisiana State Hospital in 1965, and a year later entered private practice in September 1966. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted and inducted as a Captain into the Army Medical Corps. After basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, he was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and placed in charge of Pulmonary Disease and Infectious Disease units. In the summer of 1967 he was ordered to service in South Vietnam, at the 91st Evac Hospital in Tuy Hoa. In 1968, he was called back home on Emergency leave and reassigned to the A.F.E.E.S. station New Orleans. While there, he was promoted to Major and became the Chief Medical Officer of the unit. He was discharged from the military in September 1969, joining an Internal Medicine Group shortly thereafter, beginning his private practice career.

He practiced at Touro Infirmary, serving on most of the Staff Committees including many years in charge of the Infection Control Committee. During this time he also served one term as Chief of Staff at Touro Infirmary. Later, just before he retired, he served several years at the Primary Care Clinic at Tulane Hospital.

Due to Agent Orange exposure as a result of his service in Vietnam, he developed adult onset diabetes, rental disease, hypertension, and severe exacerbation of osteoarthritis. He also developed PTSD, with moderately severe depression. Progressive disability eventually brought about a decision to retire from the practice of medicine.

In August 2005, the destruction of the family home in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina necessitated evacuation to Dallas, Texas. Shortly thereafter, his wife died of cerebral hemorrhage. Dr. Thornhill and his youngest daughter Deirdre, who was his caretaker, moved to Bella Vista, Ark., in January 2006.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Laura Elizabeth; his eldest daughter Lisa, and both of his parents. He is survived by his son, Michael; and his younger daughter, Deirdre. As per his longstanding request, he has been cremated and a final memorial service will be observed in approximately three weeks. To complete his final wishes, his ashes will be returned to New Orleans, the city he loved so well. There they will be committed to the Father of Waters that defines the Crescent City, the Mississippi River.

Arrangements are by Benton County Memorial Park Funeral Home of Rogers, Ark.