ARTHUR LITTON "ARTIE" THURSTON, 76, named for the doctor who delivered him, passed away August 19, 2019, in St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Henderson, NV, after a long illness.
He was born June 7, 1943, in Charleston, WV, to Ralph Vanburen and Virginia Netta Belle (Riddle) Thurston, both of whom preceded him in death.
Survivors include his loving partner of 45 years, Connie Post; one son, Martie Scott Thurston, and also Dylan Garland and Jason Bruce Erin , whom he reared and considered as his sons; siblings, Annalee (Mays) Nagy Richard , of Mary Esther, FL, Robert Bentley Thurston, Sr., of Goodland, FL, and Charlotte Annette Thurston, of Dunbar, WV; grandchildren, Ashley Nicole (Thurston) Schultz, Timothy "Timmy" Thurston, Hayden and Gavin Bruce; one uncle, William J. Kapp, of Lakeland, FL; two nephews; four nieces; and multiple cousins, including William Jay Kapp, of Lakeland, FL, and several great nieces/nephews. His canine buddy, Max, also survives him.
Art was one of those people who never met a stranger and whom everyone loved, with an outgoing personality, great sense of humor, and a mile-wide smile. Once he formed a bond or friendship, it couldn't be severed. The first example of that was when he was a toddler, his mother felt it was time to send his favorite stuffed toy, a rabbit named "Bo-Bo," bye-bye. He made such a ruckus, Bo-Bo was given a reprieve and lived on in keepsakes for years.
"Artie" began his education in a neighborhood one-room, three-grade school on Capitol Hill in Charleston, where he made life-long friends. A favorite childhood memory is of him climbing the ladder to the school playground "slicky-slide" and turning around for the first time to see the family dog, Frisky, right behind him, and how much fun the two had repeating this again and again. Frisky was a gift as a pup from our Riddle grandparents when Artie was a baby, and was there seventeen years later to send him off to serve his country.
The family moved to the West Side, where Art began junior high school as president of his class at Lincoln. He later switched to Woodrow Wilson Junior High and continued on to Stonewall Jackson High. He excelled as a student and athlete. You name the sport, he played it and well. He played quarterback in football, forward in basketball, catcher in baseball, and danced like a feather blowing in the wind. Wherever there was a game going on, school year or summer vacation, he was in it. There was always a sandlot game going on next to the Simms house on Capitol Hill or on the West Side next to Busy Bee Grocery, Cabell School, or Legion Field. A reporter for the Charleston Daily Mail covered a serious injury Artie suffered as a pre-teen in 1956 after he " had finished three injury-free seasons as catcher for his Little League team, Purity Maid, and was keeping score for Blossom Dairy at Legion Field, in North Charleston, when a foul ball, of all things, entered the dugout and struck him in his right eye . he was rushed to Charleston General Hospital, where doctors feared he might lose his sight. Surgery was performed and, after a few days, he was sent home with orders for complete bed rest in a darkened room " The Good Lord was looking over him, and he was soon back to himself, though sporting glasses. His love of sports continued and he and Hugh Thompson were awarded tennis scholarships to the newly-formed Charleston Tennis Club when he was a young teen. After Stonewall, Art went on to serve with the U.S. Marine Corps. He retired from a career in sales due to ill health.
May these remembrances bring back other fond memories and put a smile on the faces of those who loved, knew, and were friends of Art.
Art and Connie made the decision years ago to donate their bodies to medical research through Life Sciences in Nevada, where he was cremated. There will be no funeral service. Art will be laid to rest in Spring Hill Cemetery after the COVID-19 shutdown is over.