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Robert James Horton


1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Robert James Horton Obituary
Robert James Horton
March 26, 1922 – March 6, 2014
Resident of Scotts Valley
Robert James Horton passed peacefully at his home in Scotts Valley CA surrounded by family and friends. Bob was a born leader; always willing to lend a helping-hand, and well known for his wry sense of humor and keen wit. He leaves a legacy of mentoring those around him to be proactive to bring positive change to the world. He was a role model to others, and a father that taught his children the importance of integrity, having a positive "can-do" attitude, and the wonder of imagination.
Born in Rocky River Ohio, Bob spent his youth sailing on Lake Erie and perfecting the art of performing magic, his two favorite hobbies. He had two older sisters, Virginia and Peggy, and told interesting stories of this era of growth and invention. At the advent of WWII, at the age of 19, he enlisted in the US Navy and was Quartermaster to the newly commissioned Fletcher class destroyer, DDS Spence. While at sea, he almost died of rheumatic fever and was successfully treated with an experimental drug, which became the worldwide cure. While recovering, he served in Charleston, South Carolina, where he met the love of his life, Marguerite Hills, and they began their 70 years of marriage.
Bob and Margie traveled west to California, where he graduated from Stanford University in 1949. During this time, they performed on-stage as the Magic Makers, astounding their audiences with original magic effects that Bob developed and perfected. He went on to become a life member of the Society of American Magicians, and a performing member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Upon graduation he started his professional career with the Boy Scouts of America, and was proud to be an Eagle Scout himself.
Bob advanced in his Scouting career, becoming the Public Relations Director in Hollywood, getting to know many of the movers and shakers in the entertainment industry, including Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan. He was instrumental in shaping the lives of thousands of young men over his career, and retired as the Executive Scout Director of the Stanford Area Council in Palo Alto CA, coming full circle from where he started 40 years earlier. His service as a 50+ year member of Rotary International was important to him, never missing a meeting, even when traveling the world with Margie throughout their retirement. He was proud to say that he visited 61 countries in his life time, and always brought his magic with him. After moving to Lake Havasu City AZ, he taught magic at the community college, and continued to perform regularly. He was instrumental in procuring donations for the new library as an active member of the Friends of the Library, and worked as a volunteer at the hospital. The last 9 years have been spent in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains of California.
Bob is survived by his wife, Marguerite, and children, Robert Horton Jr of Lake Havasu City AZ, Nancy Owens of Boulder Creek CA, and Betsy LaForge of Durham NC, and his grandchildren Alisha, Joshua, Nick, Andrew, Jennifer, Taylor, and Darrin, step-grandsons Lance, Paul and Frank, and great-grandchildren, Madelyn, Marcus, Justin, and Julia.
Our family would like to speak for Bob, and thank the kind, caring, and professional staff of Oak Tree Villa Senior Living in Scotts Valley, for their commitment to his care, and the fellowship of their community. He will always be remembered for the magic shows he performed for the residents, the lively 5-Crowns card games that he sponsored, and his active participation in the resident's association.
Bob requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in his name be made to the Boy Scouts of America, Pacific Skyline Council, 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto CA 94301. www.pacsky.org
If you would like to offer your condolences, share your memories and light a candle in his honor, please visit www.scmemorial.com
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Mar. 23, 2014
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