Gregory Michael Thornton

1975 ~ 2023

We are devastated to announce the unexpected passing of Gregory Michael Thornton, beloved husband, father, son, brother and uncle, on March 28, 2023. Despite being one of the toughest and healthiest guys around, he succumbed very suddenly to bacterial pneumonia at the age of 47.

Greg was born on December 31, 1975 in Salt Lake City to devoted parents Rex and Mary, who loved raising one son alongside his four sisters. In his youth he took great pleasure in playing sports, especially basketball. He had a great singing voice which he began to develop in high school choirs and leading roles in musical theater. He was incredibly blessed with a strong group of friends who were known for their many shenanigans. In spite of all their mischief he graduated from Highland High with the class of 1994. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Utah in 2000.

Greg met Cindy Burningham when they were both 14-year-old participants in the Hill Cumorah Pageant. They were friends for a long time before he used his notably deep voice to persuade her to marry him. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on September 25, 1999. Together they have raised four incredible kids: Bradley, Lincoln, Abigail and Quinn.

Greg enjoyed many hobbies and interests. He loved running, camping, smoking meat (especially turkey legs for Thanksgiving), skiing, fishing (even though he was largely unsuccessful), hiking, making popcorn, attending U of U and Jazz games and reading cowboy books. Greg was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as Young Men's president, Bishop and High Councilor. But his favorite calling was as a Primary teacher.

In his day job as a financial planner, Greg found satisfaction in caring for his clients and helping them prepare for their futures, and providing for his family. But his real job was to be a husband and father. Nothing surpassed his love for his kids. For every birthday and Christmas he would ask for "gifts of time" with them. He was their cheerleader and unofficial coach at every sport they participated in, but especially basketball. He loved taking them to lunch, to sporting events, and on fun one-on-one trips around the country. They were his world and his greatest joy.

He is survived by his wife, children, parents, sisters (Wendy, Becca, Heather and Kristy) and their families.

A viewing will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2023, from 6:00-8:00pm at the LDS chapel (1970 East Stratford Ave). A viewing will also be held from 10:00-10:45am on Friday, March 31, 2023, at the same location. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 am. Interment will take place at Larkin Sunset Lawn.

For those who wish to view the recording of the services may do so here:
Services can be viewed for 30 days.


I'm so sorry to hear that my youthful, intelligent and kind-hearted cousin passed away. It's very difficult to absorb. I'm sorry I cannot make the services. I will be sure to come by Rex and Mary's home to express my condolences. This is heartbreaking

- Sterling Cottam

Though I didn't know him well, he did seem like a good and kind man. I do know that he was a loving father for helping in coaching his children in basketball. Sorry that he wasn't able to stay with us longer.
Condolences and much aloha to the Thornton family. Ohana mau loa (families are forever).

- Major Raymond

My deepest condolences. Greg was one of the best. He will be missed.

- Tony Knowlton

Though I didn't know him well, he did seem like a good and kind man. I do know that he was a loving father for helping in coaching his children in basketball. Sorry that he wasn't able to stay with us longer.
Condolences and much aloha to the Thornton family. Ohana mau loa (families are forever).

- Major Raymond

What a legacy Greg has left for his sweet family. Such a heartbreaking loss, a wonderful man gone too soon! Lots of love and prayers for the entire family.

- Mary Kim Doxey Oswald

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your son! I can’t imagine what you are going through! It is never easy to lose some one, but it has to be terrible to lose a son.

May God be with you and your family during this difficult time, but knowing you will be reunited one day….

- Craig Bohn

My heart aches so much for your sweet family. Greg was our home teacher, Bishop, but most of all, friend. He was someone we wanted to emulate and was a true disciple of Christ in how he treated others. I’m forever grateful that we got to know and love him and Cindy. Your are in our hearts.

- Brooke Cummings

Greg is a great man. Prayers, love and condolences to his family whom he loved deeply. God bless you. May the covenant promises you have made sustain you until you see each other again.

- Mike Hennessy

We are so sorry for your loss, so hard to believe. We are grateful for the love and friendship we've had with the Burningham family all these years. Our love and heartfelt sympathy at this difficult time. We pray for the blessings of heaven to be poured out in abundance.

- Paul THAYN

I'm in utter disbelief that Greg is gone! Over the years that I knew Greg we became friends, and bonded over our families, as our children were of similar ages. Regardless, I didn't know Greg as well as I should have. Greg was a man of integrity, kind hearted and devoted to his family. My heart and prayers go out to his wife, Cindy, and their children.

- William Tanner

Bishop Thornton had a huge impact on our family. As Bishop he called Carmen and I into his office and asked if we would like to serve as Inner City Missionaries. He was very inspired and we did that for six years. Bishop Thornton also sent our son willy on his mission. Willy was told by his Single's Ward Bishop that he would not go on a mission and from the Missionary department that he would not serve a mission. So Willy moved his membership back to the Crystal Heights 2nd Ward and Bishop Thornton pushed for him to serve his mission where he became an Assistant to the President. Bishop Thornton made good things happen.

- Rex Edgel

Cindy and family, we are so sorry for your loss. We will be praying for your family.

- Katherine wallace

Greg was a truly wonderful Man! I knew him through D. A. Davidson. Such a great influence with everyone that knew him. He will be truly missed but will continue to serve in what his next calling will be on the other side of the veil with great love and humility! 😊

- Bruce Gunnell

Greg was a great friend and mentor for me at DA Davidson. My thoughts and prayers are with your families. Rest in peace my friend.

- Chris & Molly Connors

Our deepest condolences to Greg’s wife, family, and Rex and his wife. So sorry for your loss. We worked with Greg for quite a few years and always looked forward to our annual review with he and Rex. It was a pleasure to know Greg.

- Bob & Mary Kay Zakotnik

I am greatly saddened by the sudden loss of Greg Thornton. He was always there for me, my brother, and our dear parents of blessed memory. Rex, Mary and the entire Thornton family are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

- Christopher Cowan

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Thornton Family. Love. Pat and Linda Connors and Family

- Pat and Linda Connors

Greg was our friend for many years, our neighbor, and in the school days a close buddy of our son Todd. We have known and loved him and Mary and Rex for a long time. He will be so missed by all. Our family members are devastated, and we can guess the terrible loss felt by his parents and sisters. Our Sandra, who recently passed away, will help welcome him into Paradise.

- Don Allen

So sorry to hear about Greg. Our condolences to his wife, children, his father and mother and all other family. Our hearts go out to all. He was all ways proud of his children.

- Bob and Mary Kay Zakotnik

I have known Greg for many years. When I was first married we lived in his ward and I taught him in primary and knew his parents well. He even then was a kind and respectful person. Lately, I have come to know him professionally having established a professional relationship as well as a friendship with his father Rex. I am saddened by his passing and send my deepest condolences to his wife and family. He was a good and kind man and will be missed.

- Randy Young

Greg was a wonderful man. We became associated with Greg 7 years ago when I retired and he took charge of my nest egg. Greg had integrity to spare and was extremely honest. We considered Greg a friend who we loved.

We will miss him, but Heavenly Father needed him for his eternal work.

- Ken and Jerrie Hardman

Please accept my deepest condolences. I am sending love and prayers to Cindy and her family and Rex and Mary. Greg will be sorely missed.

- Marilyn Ulrich

Rex, as you know, Jackie and I became acquainted with your financial advice after attending an evening financial class at the UofU many years ago, long before Greg became your partner. We both enjoyed associating with Greg and you and now that Jackie has left me to associate more closely with her own parents and siblings, I know the pain you and your wife must be feeling now. My loss of Jackie took a year to fret and worry over, so I had plenty of warning; your loss was totally unexpected, so is harder to deal with. I wish your and his families condolences and best wishes in adjusting to life without Greg. The restored gospel is certainly a great help in dealing with such losses, for we know we can be with our loved ones for an eternity. Because of other commitments, regrettably I will not be able to attend his viewing.

- G. Alan Jacobsen

May you have the blessings of comfort and peace

- Rc Roland

Greg will be missed by his West High family. He was a great man. He was always present for his kids and family. I will miss our talks about kids and sports. Much alofas to the Thornton family from the Tavita family.

- Gil Tavita

Dear Cindy and family,

I was so sorry to hear of Greg’s . . . graduation . . . yesterday. I know that God will bless you and comfort you. I know that He loves you unimaginably and beyond our understanding. I love you, too, but His love will envelop you and bring you peace.

your cousin Jill

- Jill Burningham Taylor

I met Greg at PFC camp in 2002, I had the privilege of getting to know him and Cindy well, also being around for the birth of Bradley. Greg was truly one of the greatest men I have met. He showed me how to live a life with compassion and genuine love and care and of course lots of fun thrown in! I am so sorry to hear of his passing and send love to his family from Australia.

- Keryn Ralph

Greg was personable, kind and a connector. You could tell he loved his work, family and people. He was a big supporter of Lynden Legacy Foundation. This loss is incredibly profound -he will be missed immensely. Greg’s legacy will live on through your family and loved ones. Love, hugs and prayers to you all.

Katie Blanch

- Katie Blanch

Greg has been our financial advisor for a number of years, and during that time he increasingly became our trusted guardian angel, our most viable link to life in Utah, and a very good friend. We will miss his genuinely good and totally benevolent nature as well as our enjoyable interactions and reassuring counsel. Our deepest sympathy to the many others who loved him.

- Susan and Jeffrey Saffle

Devastating is the word. So unexpected. I am in disbelief and heartsick at this loss - for you and the children and his immediate family - for all of us really, who love him and you. I have been praying for you all since I heard about it on Sunday. This beautiful obituary brought me to tears. He and you have always been exemplary to us and loved by all. I don't know what to say to offer comfort except to pray that you will all feel the peace and assurance you need. With love.

- Sylvia Wilcox

I’m a client of Greg’s but he always made me feel like a good friend. He help my in-laws years ago and after seeing how good he treated them in retirement it was a no brained for me. He became such a good friend it’s was never just work, it was visiting my friend who was just helping with my retirement. We always talked about both our families and I know how much family meant to him. He would never schedule an appointment if he had a basketball game or any family event. He will be very much missed on our side but I can’t imagine how much he will be missed by his family. I’m sorry for your loss but keep in mind on how many families he has help and what a great influence he has on all of us.

- Brad Hardman

Sincere condolences to family and prayers for comfort & peace for all. We were so greatly saddened by the news of Gregg's passingl.We loved him not only as our financial advisor but as a loving & caring friend. We will diligently keep all in our 💕 hearts .

- Mike & Angela Mast

Cindy, Rex and Mary,
I cannot tell you how devastating it was to hear of Greg's passing. What a wonderful person, husband, son and loving father. I was looking forward to hopefully seeing all of you in Nashville in May. I appreciate the friendship and many years we did have together. Your family is one of those that even though we only saw each other once, maybe twice a year at company functions, it seemed time had never passed and we picked up as if it had only been yesterday. All of you are in my prayers. I hope the Lord provides you with answers and cares for you, as he is now for Greg in the days and years to come. His life mattered, he made the most of it and will be well remembered by those lives he touched.

- Rob Johnson

I am Greg’s cousin on the Cottam side of the family. Mary Thornton is my fathers sister. I have many. Enmities if the Cottam cousins getting together at different times as we grew up. I always had so much sympathy for Greg as he was the only boy with four sisters. I was the only girl with five brothers. Every time I saw him U would think, “I know how you feel Greg, although he never complained about this brotherly imbalance. He always looked happy and loved.

One summer I stayed at my Aunt Mary’s home and babysat her kids while she attended Girl’s camp. Besides making sure the kids were safe and fed, I had the fun job of spending hours on their trampoline with Greg. I had no idea how to do any tricks on the tramp and even though Greg was 5 years younger than me, he sat on the side of the tramp and thought me so many fun jump styles. Even as young boy he was generous and giving. I know I made some lunches he was not excited about but he still ate everything I made and always said thank you. He was quiet but obedient and sweet. Much later in life he and Rex became my financial advisors. It was a no brained to use Greg. He exudes knowledge, understanding and honesty. I felt so grateful to have him planning my future. I will miss you dearly Greg. Your countenance and integrity will be with all of us forever.


- Linnea Cottam DelHoyo

I was deeply saddened and shocked to hear of Greg's unexpected and sudden passing. I met Greg and Rex as a result of losing my own husband (at the same age). It has now been 11 years, and yet I will never forget the compassion and care he showed me during that exceptionally difficult time in my life. I looked forward to our review meetings, he was so easy to talk to and I was always struck by his ability to remember details from our previous conversation. I will really miss Greg. My sincere wish for your family is that you are surrounded by love and strength as you navigate through this loss. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

- Niki Hack

Greg was my mother's Bishop. I met him when we got together to plan my mom's (Dorothy) funeral. She loved him and he was so kind to our family during that difficult time. He was with us planning the funeral the day after she passed when President Thomas Monson stopped by to visit her and spent time succoring us and blessing us with his presence and wisdom. We laughed and shed tears during that very special and spiritual time. Bishop Thornton was a very special young man and I am sure Dorothy is excited to see him again. Thanks Mary and Rex for raising such a special man.

- Jim Saley

So very sad to hear about Greg’s passing. He was a good friend in high school. Condolences to all of his family at this difficult time.

- Janine Thorell

My deepest condolence for your loss. I knew Greg only a short time but he made me feel like a friend and I could trust him. He will be sorely missed.

- Tammy Benson

Our deepest sympathy to the entire Thronton family.Greg was an outstanding man and will be greatly missed by all. He took excellent care of our finances. As we say in the Navy with signal flags from ship to ship BZ (Bravo Zulu) meaning “job well done “! On this your last and most important voyage we wish you fair winds and following seas.Rear Admiral and Mrs James Fowler

- Jim and Ute Fowler

I am so very saddened to hear of your husbands death. As Bishop , Greg was such a wonderful support to my parents. He conducted the service for my father (Dennis) and gave wonderful support to my mother (Joan). I thank him and your sweet family for being so kind to my mom. She really appreciates having your boys bring her the sacrament. I didn’t really know Greg, but I know that his example and love was shared for all.
My love and prayers are with you and your family.

- Shaunna Wilde Snow

Casey and Heather Weese and Greg Thornton family and The Thornton family.
I am so sorry for your loss , my sincerest condolences to all of you. Prayers , love peace and comfort to all.

- Russ Peterson

I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Thornton family on behalf of West High Boys Basketball during this difficult time. Our prayers are with you!
Coach Bourdeaux-

- Duane Bourdeaux

My deepest condolences to the Thornton family.
Greg, his father Rex and I shared a great passion for basketball. I have fond memories of our time together in the gym and at Greg’s house talking hoops. May peace be with your family.

- Tommy Connor

Cindy I want you to know that I am mourning for those who mourn. I don’t know you very well but have always felt a connection to you. I am devastated by your great loss. Please know that I weep for you and your precious children. My hope and prayers for all of you is that Greg will be very close by to see you through this tragic loss I am so sorry

- Shari Fisher Amy’s mom

Dear Cindy, What a heartfelt joy it was to listen to the funeral and get to know the Greg we never got to know. It was especially wonderful to know how much he loved and cherished you and your children! Every one of our children wanted to send flowers in memory of all the terrific times we had on the Outer Banks together. Sounds like you just continued those happy days throughout your marriage. Memories will get you through the hard days.....helping you to look forward to your days together again. President Nelson said, "The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life". We would certainly not trade one for the other. What a fine tribute today was to not only to Greg, but to your whole family. We love you and our hearts are with you!

- Diane Adams

Sending love, prayers and my deepest condolences.

- Erin Olson

Reading Greg’ obituary and not knowing him well, Chris and I decided he is the best of all us! He made the world a much better place through his love and kindness . He will be everloved

Chris and Kathy Hill

- Kathy and Chris hill

You and your family are in my heart.

- Tricia Ehrlich

Greg was known for his soft-spoken deep voice and kind and calm nature. Very funny to those that knew that side of him. Just watched the funeral from that link. My birthday requests have changed and thanks to Greg. He was a very revered and respected man of integrity and honor in our industry. Loved our chats and lunches and our discussion about utah sports. This hits very close to home and our thoughts are going to be with Cindy and Rex and family. My father Brad and I are deeply heartbroken for the loss of this incredible man. Greg, your life impacted us all and will continue to do so.

- Jon Hatch

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We share deeply your feelings that come with an unexpected death but knowing that Greg was right in the center of the Covenant Path brings great comfort. Easter is the time to rejoice in Christ's victory over death, and we hope it will bring the Spirit into your heart and give you peace.

- Becky and Craig Johns

Heather, Rex and Mary,
Just seeing this today(4/10), my heart felt condolences go out to you and your family. Such a good dude...and that voice. I still vividly remember him chasing me in the front yard followed by a hard tackle, shoving snow down my shirt, helping me up, and then running off laughing...LOL! He was quite fast!
Thoughts and prayers.

- Tyler Powers

I came to cherish my friendship with the Thornton family when they first moved into our our CH 2nd Ward because almost immediately Cindy became my diligent, conscientious visiting teacher, so we got to know each other's families well. She brought toddler Brad and baby Lincoln to visits...then later Abigail and Quinn, as babies too. I had the good fortune of teaching Brad, Lincoln and Quinn in Primary, and have come to know and love Abigail equally as much. I was serving as Relief Society Pres. when Greg became bishop, which afforded me the opportunity to get to know him well too. He was very helpful and humble, and not afraid to ask for advice himself which he did with me on one occasion. His love for his flock was unquestioned as he made visits in homes a priority. My husband and I greatly welcomed his visits. I am extremely grateful to know we will all enjoy his company again in the eternities.

- Jill Halliday

Rex and Mary
We heard about Greg's passing too late to offer condolence in person but please know of our concern and sorrow that you are going through this. We didn't know Greg but being one of Rex and Mary's makes him full of life, fun, conviction and dedication. We appreciate our association with you and send our sympathy at this time.
Bless you
Royal and Laura

- Royal and Laura Hansen

Dear Rex and Greg’s family. Jerry and I are so sorry to learn of Greg’s sudden death.
He was one of the most dedicated and awesome guys we’ve every known. ( just like his dad)
Our hearts go out to all of you at this time.
We are so grateful to have worked with Greg, and love looking at his cute family Christmas cards each year.
He will be greatly missed.
So glad that you, Rex, can stay on for a while to keep things going.
Much love and our prayers to you all at this time.
Jerry and Nancy Sonkens

- Nancy and Jerry Sonkens

I knew Greg about 20 years ago when he led youth programs at the JCC. He was one of my first bosses and helped guide so many of us (kids and staff) through the natural bumps of growing up. I'm so sorry to hear he is gone.

- Brooke McDonald

I received the news too late to come and offer my support at the funeral. Jessica was unaware as well. She said he was amazingly fit and a wonderful person. Knowing you I’m sure that is all true. My heart breaks for you two and for his wife and kids. Some things are so hard. May God bless you and keep you. Chad

- Chad Caywood

Rex and Family--What unfortunate stunning news of Greg's passing. We are grateful for his years of service. He was mentored by Rex in the best way in many capacities. His children have an excellent example to follow. Thank you for sharing him with us over the years. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

- Drs. Terry and Jan Clemmer

Greg's passing was so sudden and unexpected that we only recently learned about it. We are so sorry to have missed being able to attend the funeral and express our condolences in person. Greg was a dynamic, fun, and deep person--like his parents. He served valiantly as the leader of the Crystal Heights Second Ward and, along with his dear Cindy, was raising an outstanding family. We will miss him and his positive influence for good in our neighborhood and stake. We can only imagine what a shock this has been to everyone that knew and loved him. We offer our prayers that a spirit of peace and comfort will descend upon this dear family and that the emptiness that is felt may be filled with the reassurance that a glorious reunion awaits you.

- Ralph and Mary Dewsnup