The service will begin streaming by 2:55 PM. The service will be available to watch live and a recording will be available after the service.
Masks required at visitation and service. Room capacities will be enforced. 30 people allowed in chapel - others will be invited to watch from other rooms in the funeral home via video feed. If all rooms fill to capacity, some visitors may turned away.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Rebecca Thornton, it is easy to see that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was the sort of person who was there for others whenever she was needed, and she never met a stranger. Becky’s devotion to her family was unmatched, and she was happiest when surrounded by the ones she loved. Her grace and poise was unwavering, even when the storms of life came her way. Deeply loved, Becky will be forever missed.
The 1950s were exciting days in American history when as a nation we were working hard to define who we were. The civil rights movement came to the forefront when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, and by the end of the decade we had finally become a nation of 50 states with the additions of both Alaska and Hawaii. It was also during this time that Leon and Marjorie (Anderson) Thornton were excited to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Rebecca Sue on March 1, 1956, in Pontiac, Michigan. She was one of four as she was raised in the family home in Waterford alongside her two older brothers, Larry and Ricky, and her sister who was eight years younger, Julie.
Always known as Becky, she was a typical young girl of her generation. With her outgoing personality, she was likely very social and outgoing while in school. Becky and her friends were active in her church, and as a student she attended local schools. She was very close to her extended family members, and they often got together with her aunts, uncles, and cousins including fun trips to her aunt’s farm in Indiana during the summer.
After graduating from Kettering High School, Becky was eager for all that life had in store. She started working at a country club along with her mother and an “aunt.” She enjoyed working with her mother and her aunt, and she and her mother always had a close relationship. Although she experienced a great childhood, she also faced some trials with the deaths of both her father and both of her brothers. After working as a waitress for a time, Becky found a job with General Motors at a plant in Pontiac in 1978. She also continued to spend time with her family and friends.
Big changes were in store for Becky in 1983 when she needed to leave all she was familiar with to take a job at the GM plant on Alpine Avenue in Grand Rapids. Thankfully, she was able to make many trips back home, too. Becky did get to know her coworkers well, and many of them became like family. They spent a lot of time together outside of work as well. Many of the friendships Becky created during this time became friendships that lasted her entire life. When that plant closed, Becky continued with Lear at the 36th Street plant. In time, several of her friends also wound up at the same plant including what she called her “shop husbands,” guys who looked out for her. During this years Becky continued spending time with her mother as Becky was an avid bowler who bowled in tournaments along with her mother.
It was at work that Becky met the man of her dreams. His name was Darrell Knight, and when he first came to the plant they were just friends. After about a year, Becky and Darrell realized there might be more than friendship between them, and the rest is history as they say. They were married on October 6, 1990, and first settled into her home in Wyoming, Michigan. They later moved to Walker where they raised their son, Ricky. Becky was an amazing mother who knew how to balance love with discipline, and she was also there to support him in everything he did. Both her husband and her son appreciated her skills in the kitchen as they loved everything she made although Becky preferred the sweets more. Key lime pie was a favorite. As a family they took regular trips to the East side of the state to spend time with family and attend family gatherings where Becky always had so much fun seeing everyone. They also traveled a bit further from home as they spent some time on the Gulf Coast of Florida on vacation with Ricky. Both Clearwater and St. Petersburg as well as anything in that area became Becky’s happy place. She always loved the sun, the water, and the beach. In fact, even at home in Michigan she much preferred the warmer weather as she enjoyed visiting the beaches in Michigan and spending time at their pool. Becky and Darrell were blessed to be able to retire early, which allowed them to spend most of their winters in fall soon after.
Throughout her life Becky enjoyed so many things. She continued with her love for bowling, and for years she and Darrell bowled on a mixed league together. While down in Florida, Becky made numerous friends as was true to her nature, and much of her time there was spent doing things with her friends whether they were going out to eat, walking the beach, sitting by the pool, or doing one of her favorite activities, catching a sunset. Becky loved taking pictures, and she was often the unofficial photographer for weddings, gatherings, and more.
Life was forever changed for Becky and her loved ones when she was was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago. She aggressively fought it, traveling to Ann Arbor twice a week for treatment for a couple of years. Through it all, she remained positive and thankful for each and every day. Becky always had a smile on her face and never complained. Although she initially beat the cancer, it returned, and she spent the last seven years of her life fighting it again - all with a smile and an unwavering desire to fight it. Since her desire was to be at home, Darrell and Ricky made sure that was what she was able to do until just a week ago when she moved to Trillium Woods.
All who knew Rebecca Thornton would agree that she was such a special person in so many ways. She treated others with respect and unconditional love, which made her someone who made friends with ease. A friend of Becky’s was a friend for life, and she was the one who loved planning all the gatherings and get-togethers. A loving wife and mother, she viewed these roles to be both her highest calling and her richest blessing. Becky will never be forgotten.
Rebecca Sue “Becky” Knight, age 64 of Grand Rapids and formerly of Waterford, passed away October 21, 2020. She was preceded in death by her father, Leon Thornton; her mother, Marjorie Costello; brothers Larry Skinner and Ricky Thornton. Becky is survived by her husband, Darrell; their son, Ricky Knight; sister Julie (Rick) Beall; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Dennis (Peggy) Knight, Dallas (Robin) Knight, Darlene (Don Childres) Knight; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. A service to remember and celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 3 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends are invited to visit with her family from 1 PM until the time of the service. Becky had a smile that always shined, and despite years of fighting cancer, she remained positive. To read more about Becky’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com