Gail Thornton

Date of Birth

May 17, 1952

Date of Death

October 25, 2022

Gail Thornton peacefully passed away on October 25, 2022 due to metastatic lung cancer. Gail was born in Los Angeles on May 17, 1952.

Gail was a free spirit with a sense of adventure and absolute devotion to the care of and connection with animals.

Growing up, she excelled in showing horses and loved competitive cross-country, jumping and dressage.

As an adult, she spent 7 years sailing and living onboard a sailboat, exploring the coasts of New York, Florida, and the Virgin Islands, before making her home in the Santa Ynez Valley where she lived for more than four decades. There, she returned to her love of horses: first, by breaking yearlings for the racetrack and then, by becoming a Veterinary Technician at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, a world class facility providing cutting edge medical treatment for horses. She was a beloved part of the family at the clinic, building close relationships with her coworkers and clients, and taking meticulous care of her recovering equine patients. She was admired for her tireless work habits and intuitive connection with horses. Gail was tiny (at 5’3” and 100 pounds) but mighty, with surprising strength, grit, and determination. She was such a workhorse that it took 5 staff members to take over the work she did on her own.

Gail was loved for her kind and joyful spirit; she had a childlike innocence and sometimes mischievous air about her, and she treasured shared moments of side-splitting laughter. Gail was moved by the awesome beauty of the world. She had a heart that loved deeply. She also recognized the pains and sorrows that life brings and did not shy from such topics. Those who knew her always described her as real and genuine.

She will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched.

She is survived by her brothers and wives Bruce & Sharyn Charnas, Mark & Gretchen Charnas, her daughter and husband Rebecca & Jasan Sherman, and her grandchildren Ben, Ruby & Mack Sherman.

A celebration of Gail’s life will take place in Santa Ynez, date to be determined. Contact her daughter Rebecca at, to be updated on details. Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.