William Horton

Obituary of William Horton

William E. (Bill) Horton, a long time Sullivan County resident, died November 16, 2017 at the Aarondale Assisted Living and Retirement Community in Fairfax, Virginia. The son of the late Charles Horton and Beatrice Avery, he was born July 11, 1926 in Eldred, NY.

Bill grew up with his brother, Clifford Horton, in Monticello, NY. Having lost his mother at an early age, the boys were raised by their father and stepmother, the late Virginia Osborn. He came of age during World War II, and served in the U. S. Navy in the Pacific aboard the U.S. Alcyone. The Alcyone was part of the task force servicing the Third Fleet and was part of the occupation force lying off the coast of Japan at the time of their surrender.

Bill returned home and worked in his father's printing business in Monticello. Through friends, he met and married the former Lucille St. Priest, who taught mathematics in the Monticello Central School System for many years and founded the Sullivan County Community Chorus. They were married for 62 years before her passing in 2015, raising three daughters in Forestburgh, NY.

An accomplished electronics and ham radio expert, Bill communicated with ham radio operators worldwide. He took time off from the printing business and attended college at the State University of New York at New Paltz, receiving his bachelor's degree in geology. He was always a rock hound and he collected numerous rock specimens on family trips across the United States. He made himself an expert on Sullivan County history and genealogy, and collected photos and other historical artifacts. He was cited in a book or two of Sullivan County history.

Bill was elected to the Board of Education of the Monticello Central School District and served on the Board for 13 years. He was a confirmed member of the United Methodist Church of Monticello and participated in numerous Bible Study and other groups through the years. He served as a member of the Monticello Masonic Lodge 532 for more than 65 years.

He is survived by his brother, Clifford Horton, of Bethel, NY; three daughters: Dorothy Firsching and her husband John of Fairfax, VA, Susan Cloud and her husband David of Houston, TX, and Barbara O'Rourke of Forestburgh; five grandchildren: Dawn Speidel (Joshua), Kathleen O'Rourke, Deanna O'Rourke, Sean O'Rourke and Matthew Firsching; four great grandchildren: Alexander, James, Catherine, and Nicholas; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife Lucille, he was predeceased by a son-in-law: William O'Rourke.

Family and friends are invited to gather on Monday, November 20 from 4-7pm at the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home, 401 Broadway in Monticello. His funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 21 at 11am at the United Methodist Church of Monticello, 445 Broadway in Monticello, with Pastor Jacqueline Carter officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery in Bethel.

In addition to the Monticello Methodist Church, donations would also be welcome in memory of Bill Horton to Insight Memory Care Center 3953 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA 22030.


Arrangements are under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Monticello. For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit www.kennyfuneralhome.com.