After a fulfilling and productive life Cecil Clay Thurman, age 101, of Sellersburg Indiana died peacefully on Monday, March 8th. in the company of his children. Cecil was born in Highland Park Michigan on February 23, 1920, the son of Nora Emerson Thurman and William Rufus Thurman, and lived his early childhood in Chapeze, Kentucky, and near Georgetown, and Greenville, Indiana. The family later relocated to Johnson County Indiana, where he graduated as one of six (6) from Clark High School.
Cecil was emblematic of the greatest generation, having lived both during the depression, and then serving his country in WWII. His military service began with induction into the U.S. Army in October 1941, followed by basic training at Army camps in Indiana and Georgia. Then as part of the 34th. Infantry Division, 168th. Infantry Regiment he shipped out to Northern Ireland and Scotland for combat training. In November 1942, Operation Torch, the first major amphibious landing of WWII was launched in North Africa. As part of the Eastern landing force in Algeria, Cecil was seriously injured near the Kasserine Pass. He holds numerous awards including the Purple Heart, two (2) bronze stars, and most important to him the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. After a lengthy recovery in North African and North Carolina, he was discharged in December 1944.
Cecil was a devoted husband to his wife of  years, Bertha “Lucky” Luckett Thurman who predeceased him in December 2018. Characteristically of this loving father and husband, he drove each day to the nursing home to visit her for over five (5) years.
His life was characterized by hard work, including as a young adult, working on the family farm and in tobacco fields, and helping pick tomatoes on a one hundred acre plot. Later Cecil enjoyed a successful career in the wholesale hardware business working for Belknap Hardware as a sales representative and buyer for over  years. Never content to be idle, he continued to work in the “hardware’ business he knew and loved, most recently with Sellersburg Hardware and Lumber, finally retiring at age 85. Cecil also enjoyed gardening, home projects, Indiana University basketball, watching NASCAR, and all things Hoosier.
Revered by his family, Cecil was the patriarch of five (5) generations
including his four (4) children, daughter Catharine Thurman Gillespie, and sons Donald Wayne, Cecil Daniel, and David Martin. He was also loving “Papa” to, four (4) grandchildren, three (3) great grandchildren, and three (3) great great grandchildren. He was proceeded in death by his parents, three (3) sisters, one (1) brother and one (1) great granddaughter. His memorial services will be held at 3:00 P.M. on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at the Garr Funeral Home in Sellersburg. Visitation will be on Sunday from 1:00 P.M. until the time of the service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to: Hosparus Health Louisville (3532 Ephraim Drive Louisville, Kentucky 40205).
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Hosparus Health Louisville
3532 Ephraim Drive, Louisville KY 40205