Dr. Robert L. Thorne, 78, Was Air Force Veteran

Dr. Robert Leslie Thorne, DDS, 78, of Pennacook street, Oak Bluffs and McIntosh Lake Avenue, Sarasota, Florida, died on Sunday, July 13, 2003, at the Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oak Bluffs. He was the husband of Hurmie (Todd) Thorne to whom he was married on August 4, 1946, in Flint, Mich.

Born in Saginaw, Michigan, on July 1, 1925, he was a son of the late Lewis and Emma (Hughes) Thorne. He had been a longtime summer resident of Martha's Vineyard and maintained his primary residence in Sarasota, Fla.

He was a veteran of the United States Air Force having served from 1943-1945 as a navigator and bombardier with the Tuskegee Airmen. Dr. Thorne was the youngest member of the Tuskegee Airmen when he entered the service at the age of 17. He achieved the rank of lieutenant and was enrolled in becoming a pilot at the time of his discharge.

Dr. Thorne had his own dental practice in New York city from 1952 until his retirement in 1994. He was a graduate of New York University. As a dentist, he donated his professional services to the children of New York city who otherwise would go without proper dental care. He had also served as the dentist for the City of New York school department his entire career.

He was a member of the Alpha Fraternity; was a member and served as the past president of the Tuskegee Airmen Association; was a member of the American Dental Society and the Negro Dental Society; was a member of the Gamma Sigma Phi Fraternity and the Boule Honor Society and the Farm Neck Golf Club.

Dr. Thorne was an avid golfer and as a true outdoorsman enjoyed skiing, fishing and hunting.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, he leaves three sons: Dr. Michael Thorne and his wife, Judy, of Detroit, Mich.; Ronald Thorne and his wife, Shawne, of Great Neck, Long Island, and Gary Thorne and his wife, Lynn, of Indian Mountain Lake, Pa.; a sister, Margaret Willis, of California; six grandchildren and 89 nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Emma Louise Boggis, Wilamina McQueen, Donald Thorne, Fred Thorne, Benjamin Thorne and Robert Thorne.

Funeral services and interment will be private.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home, 161 Commonwealth avenue, Village of Attleboro Falls, North Attleboro, 508-695-0200.