DeAnne Thornton



For those who are unable to attend the funeral service in person.  The church has provided the following link to join the family remotely at service time.



DeAnne Mary Thornton


DeAnne Mary Thornton (nee. Berns) of Centreville, Virginia, passed away on June 14, 2021 from complications from dementia. She was 67.


Born on December 27, 1953, in Guttenberg, Iowa, she was the third daughter of Leon Berns and Phyllis Berns (nee. Junk).  Her father preceded her in death on June 7, 2021.


She is survived by her loving husband of 44 years, Michael Thornton and their three children Sarah (West) Bevan, Aaron Thornton, and Rebecca (Michael) Boyle.  In addition, her four grandchildren will remember her fondly as a loving and nurturing Grandma with an ample toy closet.


DeAnne grew up in Garnavillo, Iowa from a large family that consists of five sisters and three brothers, Julie (Jon) Jordahl, Beth (Steve) Young, Charles (Heidi) Berns, John Berns, Barbara Berns-Leone (Joe) Leone, Rita (Chet) Koth, Thomas (June) Berns, and Nancy (Scott) Neely.  They grew up together on the family farm in Northeast Iowa where DeAnne learned the value of family and hard work.  After marrying Mike, she traveled the world with him as he served in the US Navy.  Despite being physically distanced from her Iowa roots, DeAnne kept contact with her siblings and parents through visits to the farm and many long phone calls with her sisters.


DeAnne graduated from Garnavillo High School in 1972 and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Textiles and Clothing from Iowa State University in 1976.   She used her talents to work in retail as a buyer for Liberty House, Hawaii and as an independent contractor making custom pillows and window treatments for Ethan Allen in Gainesville, Florida.  Despite frequent moves required by the Navy, she naturally turned every house into a home and used each location to improve her ability to decorate with style.


DeAnne was a multi-talented designer who was able to create beautiful clothing, quilts, cross-stitch, embroidery, and Tole painted objects for family and friends.  Dedicated to her craft of quilting, DeAnne took no hesitation to turn the first vacated bedroom in their home into her sewing room.  She spent much of her time creating beautiful and thoughtful pieces that highlighted her love, dedication, and skill.  Her memory and beauty are preserved through the quilts and paintings she created with the utmost attention to detail.


In addition to her crafting skills, DeAnne was an accomplished home chef.  She always insisted upon nightly family dinner around the table, no matter the events or moods of the day.  Her children grew into adults and learned to appreciate this ability which was very much appreciated by their father.  A spot at her table when she was cooking was always a coveted seat, especially at holidays. 


DeAnne was also very active in the local homeowner’s association, serving on the board of directors for Belle Pond Farm HOA for 16 years from 2002 to 2018.  She was the principal designers for the current entry sign into the community and instrumental in selection of the white rail fence that borders the common areas. 


Visitation is from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Monday, June 21, 2021 at Adams-Green Funeral Home, 721 Elden Street, Herndon, VA.  A funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, June 22, 2017 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, 13807 Popular Tree Rd, Chantilly, VA.   Burial will take place, 12:45 PM, Wednesday, November 10, 2021 with services originating at Fort Myer Old Post Chapel located at Joint Base Fort Myer, Arlington, VA.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (  Arrangements entrusted to Adams Green Funeral Home.



5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, June 21, 2021
Adams-Green Funeral Home
721 Elden St.
Herndon, Virginia, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
St. Timothy Catholic Church
13807 Poplar Tree Rd.
Chantilly, Virginia, United States

Service & Burial

12:45 pm
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Fort Myer Old Post Chapel
204 Lee Ave
Fort Myer, Virginia, United States
Service will begin at Fort Myer Old Post Chapel and will process to the burial location inside Arlington National Cemetery immediately following the conclusion of the chapel service. Those who do not hold a military ID will be required to enter Fort Myer through the Hatfield Gate located on 2nd Street South in Arlington. (GPS users should enter 2000 2nd Street South, Arlington, VA. From this location the Hatfield Gate will be visible.)
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