Cover photo for Alice Jane Thornton Hees's Obituary
Alice Jane Thornton Hees Profile Photo
1931 Alice 2014

Alice Jane Thornton Hees

June 12, 1931 — September 5, 2014

Alice Jane Thornton Hees, 83, was born on June 12, 1931, in the town of Sanda, Hyogo-ken, Japan. On the evening of September 4, 2014, she suffered a massive stroke and passed away the next afternoon in Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, IN. Alice and her twin sister, Ruth Esther Thornton Caldwell, are the eldest of 10 children. They both received nursing degrees at St Luke's Hospital, St Louis, MO, in 1952. Alice later moved to Colorado to attain her Bachelor's in nursing at the University of Colorado in 1958 where she also earned her Master's in nursing. Throughout her adult life she was very active in the Nurse's Christian Fellowship and was accepted into the North African General Mission. Her dream of being a single nurse missionary soon changed course after she met Kenneth Fred Hees. They were married on December 27, 1960, in Greenfield, IL. The couple returned to Colorado where they lived and worked for Young Life Frontier Ranch, Buena Vista, CO, until 1972. All three of their sons, Phillip John, Frederick Samuel, and Charles Kenneth, were born in Salida, Chaffee County, CO. The family moved to Windy Gap Camp, NC, where Alice became Chair of Health Occupations at Guilford Technical Institute, Jamestown, NC. In the summer of 1974, the family moved to Carterville, IL, when Alice became the head of the newly established Associate's program in nursing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After the nursing program moved to John A. Logan College in 1977, Alice remained at SIUC and continued to teach in the Allied Health program. She completed her PhD in Health Education in 1991 and retired from SIUC in 1996. Alice was the consummate teacher and continued doing so in both official and unofficial capacities long after she retired. Many of her students attribute their success in their various careers in the healthcare industry to Alice's guidance and remember her fondly. She was active in various church outreach programs and was a faithful member of and sang in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Carbondale, IL. Alice's father, Samuel Watson Thornton, was a missionary in Japan and later returned with his growing family to the United States in January 1937. They first lived at Tadmor camp ground in St. James, MO. Samuel was a farmer, church camp director and worked with local churches at various locations in Missouri and Illinois. Her mother, Mary Scott Gash Thornton, was a piano teacher and helpmate to Samuel's work. Alice is preceded in death by her mother, Mary; her father, Samuel; her youngest sister, Susan; her brother, John; her sister, Elsie; her husband, Ken; and by twin granddaughters, Mary and Emily. Alice is survived by her sisters (and spouses), Ruth (Paul Caldwell), Martha (Don Miller), Cathy Beebe, and Nancy (David Vander Plaats); brothers, Charles (Janice) and Sam (Susan); sister-in-law, Marcia; sons, Phil (Doreen), Fred (Liz), and Charlie (Julia); grandson, Spencer; granddaughters, Amy, Angie, and Natalie Alice; step grandson, Ilya; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Visitation will be at 2 pm, Saturday, October 4, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church, 310 S. University Avenue, Carbondale, IL. A memorial service officiated by the Reverend Janice West will be held at 3 pm in the church sanctuary. A celebration of life reception will follow in the parish fellowship hall at 4 pm. There will be no graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Deacon's Fund" at First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale, IL, or the American Heart Association. Donation envelopes will be available at the church.



Service:



3:00 p.m. Saturday, October 4, 2014



First Presbyterian Church 310 S. University Avenue Carbondale, Illinois







Visitation:



2:00 pm Saturday, October 4, 2014



First Presbyterian Church 310 S. University Avenue Carbondale, Illinois



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