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SUN PRAIRIE—Frederick H. “Fred” Thornton, age 64, died early Friday morning, April 12, 2019, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg, after a long illness. He was born in Berlin, Wis., on Aug. 7, 1954, the son of William and Dorothy (Rundt) Thornton. He married Karen Pagel on Oct. 12, 1974, at Hope Lutheran Church in Wautoma.

Fred was a 1972 graduate of Wautoma High School and attended UW-Madison from 1972 to 1974. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was employed by Universal Foundry in Oshkosh and Oshkosh Truck.

Fred graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in accounting in 1990. Following graduation, he worked for the State of Wisconsin, Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, where he was employed as a financial examiner until his retirement in 2015. It was there that he found his niche and was known as the “ninja accountant.” His certifications included Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Examiner (CFE).

Fred enjoyed reading about history, listening to classic rock music, watching football, gardening, and observing astronomical phenomena. He excelled at trivia. He was easygoing and well-liked by everyone who knew him.

Fred is survived by his wife, Karen of Sun Prairie; daughter, Katie (Troy Brueckner) of Madison; granddaughter, Ada; brother, Alex of Wautoma; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives, and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his sister, Isabelle Zapf; his brother, William “Bill” Thornton; and his parents.

A gathering will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 1310 Emerald Terrace, Sun Prairie, with a time of sharing to begin at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Fred’s memory to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, at Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

1310 Emerald St., Sun Prairie

(608) 837-9054

the life of: Thornton, Frederick H. "Fred"
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