Rose Bowl Brings Special Meaning To Local Family - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Rose Bowl Brings Special Meaning To Local Family

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Dallas Thornton spent his whole life waiting for the Spartans to make it to the Rose Bowl. 

"All we heard for days and nights and nights and days is, 'we're going to the Rose Bowl,'" said Jeff Thornton, Dallas' son.

Dallas was just nine years old when the Spartans headed to the Rose Bowl in 1954. MSU won that game, and the Dansville native never looked back. 

"That's his first memory of being a Spartan," said Dallas' daughter, Kelli Miller.

Dallas passed his loyal love of green and white to his wife, children and grandchildren. 

But in February, tragedy struck the Thornton family. Doctors told Dallas he'd developed a brain tumor. In October, doctors gave Dallas only a month to live. 

"Honestly, I believe the Spartans and the love of his family and his grandchildren kept pushing him forward. He was so excited about how well they were doing and that just kept him motivated to stay alive longer," Miller said. 

While his health kept him from traveling, Dallas celebrated MSU victories from home. 

"When they won the big ten championship, the next day was probably one of the best days that he had. He was just excited and he felt good, but then he just really declined from there," Miller said. 

Sadly, Wednesday Dallas didn't see his Spartans on the big screen. He passed away Dec. 17 at 69 years old. 

"We buried him in a Spartan shirt and he had a Rose Bowl hat," Miller said. 

In Dallas' memory, the Thorntons started a fund for Ele's Place


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