Editor's note: This is the 220th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - Born in Lesage in 1934, George Thornburg operated the former Thornburg's Market at 324 29th St. for 37 years before he closed it in 2003.
Thornburg's store was an integral part of the East Huntington business community. His store was especially popular with the neighborhood's senior citizens, as it offered carry-out and delivery service.
He was a member and former chairman of the West Virginia Retail Grocers Association and was a long-time active sponsor of Grocer's Cancer Day, a yearly fundraising event begun by the late John Beckwith, owner and operator of Huntington's former B&B Supermarket.
Thornburg is remembered as a generous man who helped customers who were struggling and went above and beyond for the young employees he hired, making sure they had an opportunity to continue their education.
In 2007, he was recognized by the Huntington Neighborhood Institute as a leading volunteer, receiving the organization's Positive Impact on the Neighborhood Award.
"Friendly to everyone, he always helped the neighborhood in any way he could," said Sherry Napier, former president of the Neighborhood Institute.
Thornburg died in 2012. At his death, grandson Tommy Cazad said of him: "You didn't just shop at Thornburg's Market because you needed bread. You shopped there because he would greet you, ask you how you were, and even if he didn't know you, he cared."