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Marcella Lightner Thrash

April 10, 2017

U.S. Veteran

Service Date: April 17, 2017

Obituaries » Marcella Lightner Thrash

U. S. Marine Corps Retired Gunnery Sergeant Marcella Lightner Thrash, 50, resident of Charlotte, NC, born in Philadelphia, PA., perished on April 10, 2017. Service will be held Monday, April 17, 2017 at Parkwood Institutional CME Church, 802 Tom Hunter Road, Charlotte, NC 28213. Visitation will begin at 12:00 pm and service will follow at 1:00 pm.

Marcella Lightner Thrash, born on October 13, 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was a proud marine, mother, and dear loved one to us all.  She was born to the parents of Barbara J Moore Lightner and the late Page R Lightner Sr.

As a child, Marcella exhibited an outspoken and witty personality.  She was baptized at the age of 8, at Thankful Baptist Church, where she was a missionary and active member of the usher board.  She attended Philadelphia public schools, where her love for reading earned her high honors in school.  In addition to her academic success, Marcella was active in volleyball before graduating from Parkway Beta High School in 1984. Throughout her teenage years, she volunteered as a Candy-Striper and held a part time job with Sears and Roebuck.  Shortly after high school, Marcella secured her first full time job as a tax examiner for the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1986, Marcella joined the US Marine Corps.  She completed boot camp at Paris Island, SC and was then stationed at Camp Legeune in Jacksonville, NC. She went on to do a tour of duty in Okinawa, Japan for four years, rounding out her 8 years of active duty.  She spent nearly 13 additional years in the reserves before retiring in 2005, as a Gunnery Sergeant Marine Aviation Clerk in Douglasville, Georgia. Marcella devoted the rest of her professional life to a career in accounting.  She was an Accounting Manager for Collier International in Charlotte, NC, where she received a Service of Excellence award for Outstanding Employee in 2017.

Marcella became interested in higher learning and attained two degrees, a BBA in Accounting from Georgia State University in 1997 and an MBA from Southern Polytechnic State University in 2003.  She was currently pursuing her CPA license.  In her spare time, Marcella enjoyed working out, running, reading, and planning for the future.  She looked forward to traveling more, and taking more time to enjoy life.  Marcella was an active member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, and became an advocate for mental health awareness.

Many would say that Marcella was tough as nails, but that was only on the outside.  She was more of a gladiator, consistently fighting for causes that would affect change.  She never dwelled on the past, and lived for weekends filled with fun.  Marcella’s unconditional love for others is what will be missed the most.

Marcella went home to Glory on April 10, 2017.  She is survived by her son Dionte Long in Charlotte, NC, mother Barbara J Lightner, grand-mother Lucille Moore, brother Page R Lightner Jr. and nephew Jaylin Lightner in Philadelphia, PA, sisters Bridget and Bernadette Lightner in Charlotte, NC, brother Maurice Lightner in Miami, FL, and niece Kandice Lightner in Atlanta, GA.  She also leaves behind a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends.


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