June 5, 1939 ~ March 15, 2022 (age 82)


John William Thurmond, 83, passed away on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at Libby Care Center with family and friends gathered around him. He was born on June 5, 1939 to Cecil William and Mae Rose Thurmond at E St. Louis, Illinois. He was saved at Faith Baptist Church in Godfry, Illinois.

John attended University of Southern Illinois; he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He met Cleona Iris Schilling, also a student there, and after a 2 year courtship they were married in 1961. They had 3 children Barry Wayne, John Eugene and Suzanne Elizabeth.

John later attended the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and received his Graduate of Theology Degree.  He was ordained on February 6, 1976.  He pastored two churches, Rogers Baptist Church in Rogers, AR and the Southern Baptist Church in Troy, MO.  He loved preaching the Gospel and sports.  He loved to coach young kids in sports, most of all basketball.  When John stood up, it was easy to see why basketball was his favorite.

John and Cleona moved to Libby in 2011.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Mae, his 2 sons Barry Wayne and John Eugene.

Survivors include his wife Cleona of 61 years; daughter Suzanne Kropp (John); grandson Anthony; all of Libby; a brother Robert Thurmond (Charlene); and a sister Rebecca (Ron), Troy, IL.

Visitation will be on Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby.  Services will be at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 20 at Libby Baptist Church, 105 Cedar Street in Libby. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hope International Ministries, INC, 11415 Hope International Drive, Tampa, FL, 33625-3963 or to a favorite charity. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be made at

To send flowers to JOHN's family, please visit our floral store.


March 19, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Schnackenberg Funeral Home Chapel
422 W 2nd St
Libby, MT 59923

Funeral Service
March 20, 2022

3:00 PM
Libby Baptist Church
105 E Cedar Street
Libby, MT 59923

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