DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Press Thornton Jr., president and general manager of the Press Thornton Future Masters golf tournament, passed away Monday morning.
Statement from the Future Masters on the passing of Press Thornton Jr.:
We are so deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Press Thornton Jr, the General Chairman of the Press Thornton Future Masters. He was such an iconic figure in junior golf and probably involved longer than anyone, having served as the General Chairman since early 1960’s. He and his wife of 61 years, Mrs.Evelyn Thornton would man the registration table and would check in each player. Dr. Thornton greeted each contestant and their families with a big handshake and took pictures with his thumbs up gesture as to be a big celebrity…..and he was in their eyes. He presented the top ten in each of the 4 age groups with a trophy bigger than most of the kids, and would do so each year. The tournament just celebrated 70 years this past June.
He was a great influence and always spoke encouraging words to the contestants, making mention that this golf tournament was more than a game. He would go on to say that the memories and friendships they were making would be with them for the rest of their lives. It was evident with the fathers and grandfathers that returned with their own child for them to reminiscence about their playing years. Dr. Thornton was truly an ambassador for junior golf and he will be deeply missed.
Press Thornton Jr. was 91 years old.