Michel Lance Thorne, aka Thorny, was born May 28, 1971. Michel began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with Leah Fire Department, then Martinez Fire and Rescue. He made his home at Grovetown Department of Public Safety as a driver while still volunteering as a firefighter at Martinez Fire and Rescue, where he never missed a day of work in 13 years.
Michel demonstrated a career of integrity, honor, courage, service above self, and a genuine love for mankind. Above all was his love for his wife, Allison, and his “Mini Me,” his precious daughter, MaryAnn. There wasn’t a night at the station that he didn’t speak of or tell stories of events at home. He was very proud of his family, and he made sure everyone knew it.
Michel had a servant’s heart, and within his heart was a love of life and love of laughter. Every encounter with him left your spirits lifted and side hurting from laughter. Had he not been a fireman, he could have been a stand-up comedian. His smile and his laugh were just a little bit bigger than everyone else’s. He was a well-known member of Clowns of America International, where he attended parades, visited children’s hospitals, and appeared at festivals and other community events as Klutzy the Clown. He also dressed as Sparky The Fire Dog. His yearly impersonation of Jolly Old Saint Nick (Santa) may have stood out more, as he never left a holiday event without speaking to every single child. That’s the type of person he was, a servant full of love, joy, and happiness.
If you can judge a man by the effect that he has on other people, you see the fruits of his labor. His presence is so large that his absence becomes profound.
We are all better because we knew Michel. He was a true hero in every sense of the word.