Gladys (Dorsey) Thornhill, Comanche County, Kansas Hosted by RootsWeb, the oldest & largest FREE genealogical site. Click here to visit RootsWeb.
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The Western Star, November 12, 1964.

Protection Woman Dies of Suffocation

Mrs. Gladys Thornhill of Protection died of suffocation in her home about 5 p.m. Friday when a fire swept the house.

Officials believe the fire may have been caused by a short in a radio. She was alone in the house.

Melvin Thornhill, her husband, was in Lawrence at the time of the fire.

Smoke was first sighted coming from the attic by a neighbor, Herman Herbord, who tried to get inside the building but found the doors locked. Herbord then called Protection's volunteer fire department.

Firemen broke open the front door and found Mrs. Thornhill just inside the entrance, where she apparently had fallen in a futile attempt to escape the house. She was pronounced dead shortly after.

After firemen thought they had the fire extinguished, a second blaze broke out in the building about 11 p.m., but it was soon under control.


Mrs. Thornhill was born July 18, 1911, at Protection and married Melvin Thornhill, June 2, 1934 at Coldwater.

She was a member of the Protection Methodist church and Comanche County Art Guild.

She is survived by the widower, a sister, Mrs. Amy Bramwell, Wichita; two brothers, Roy Dorsey, DeLake, Ore.; Glenn Dorsey, Pratt.

Funeral services were held on Monday, November 9, 1964 at 2 p.m. in the Protection Methodist church for Mrs. Gladys Louella Thornhill. Rev. John McGuire, pastor, officiated. Mrs. Don Kerstetter was the organist. Mrs. Glenn Maris and Charles Petty sang "Near to the Heart of God."

Casket bearers were Fay Moberley, Hugh Stephenson, Virgil Severe, Robert Brass, Dwight Klinger and James Stinson.

Interment was in Protection Cemetery.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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