Attention Members and Friends

Our dear friend Alice Thornburg passed away on October 18, 2018


Alice Kay Thornburg, 72, died on Saturday, October 20, 2018 surrounded by her loved ones.  Alice was born on May 11, 1946 in Portland, OR and was raised there.  A childhood polio survivor, she developed resilience at an early age, a character trait she carried with her throughout life.  In her recovery from polio, the idle time gave her the opportunity to take up hand crafts such as sewing, embroidery, needle-arts, calligraphy, and painting.

In 1968, she met her husband of 42 years, Thomas Thornburg at Portland State University in Portland, OR.  Shortly after their wedding, Tom enlisted in the Army and they continued to build a family together. They were stationed in Missouri, Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Germany, and Minnesota before retiring to Gastonia, NC in 2006.  Highlights of their travels together included South Korea, Paris, Rome, Munich, and Yellowstone National Park.

In her free time, Alice applied her creative knowledge by making clothes, dresses, Halloween costumes, and assuming almost all art projects started by her daughters.  She appreciated and pushed herself to the highest standard, even if it meant burning midnight oil and stressful deadlines.  Her daughters knew better than to ask for the gift of a wedding dress, in spite of her extreme talent.  She gifted many friends with hand-made treasures, including quilts for her grandchildren.

Critical Pneumonia in 2017 and complications from polio forced major life changes and required that she move in with her oldest daughter Sara and her family, along with supported care from  Richard Delahunt.  Alice especially enjoyed playing Blockus and listening to the birds outside with Rich.

Alice is survived by four daughters and their husbands, Sara Munday (Mark), Susanne Johnson (Douglas), Mary Welsh (John), and Katherine Murphy (Preston); 6 grandchildren, Paul Munday, and Miriam, Cyprian, Robert, Gemma and Veronica Welsh.   She is preceded in death by her parents, Helen and Cecil Freyer, and her husband Thomas Thornburg. 

The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg, 12115 University City Blvd., Harrisburg, NC 28075.  The funeral service will be on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 2:30 pm at St. Michael Catholic Church, 708 St Michael’s Lane Gastonia NC 28052. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Piedmont Fiber Guild, PO Box #2 Gastonia, NC  28054.

Hartsell Funeral Home of Harrisburg is serving the Thornburg family.

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About Us

Spinning, weaving, wool, North Carolina South Carolina


Organized in the early 1970's as the Charlotte Handweavers Guild, our group has evolved into a regional membership of people interested in all aspects of the fiber arts: spinning, weaving, knitting, doll making, surface design, basketry, beadwork etc.

We meet in Gastonia, NC at 2020 Remount Rd., 28052, at 2:00 pm on the third Sunday of each month, September-May. We offer programs related to fiber arts each month, as well as workshops, several times each year, with regionally and nationally known artists. Visitors and guests are welcome.

Upcoming Events

Cotton Ginning Days - October 12-14, 2018  

Dallas Park, Dallas, NC

SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) - October 26-28, 2018  

WNC Agriculture Center,  Fletcher, NC 

Upcoming Meeting Dates

October 21, 2018

November 18, 2018

December 16, 2018

January 20, 2019

February 17, 2019

March 17, 2019

April 28, 2019 (Change due to Easter)

May 19, 2019