St Peter's Episcopal Church
30 Church St
Hebron, CT 06248
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Robert Horton

1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Horton Obituary
Robert Henry Horton

1927 - 2016 Robert Henry Horton died peacefully in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, June 22, 2016, at age 89, with his wife and soul mate of 65 years, Doris, by his side. He and Doris were Vermonters for the past 18 years, living the last few years in Bennington. Robert was born in Hartford, Connecticut, March 10, 1927. He was the middle child of Edmund and Sarah Horton, with an older brother John, and younger sister, Elizabeth, better known as Betty. The family lived in Hebron, CT, on a dairy farm that belonged to the family for generations. He attended Hebron Center School, a school with two rooms, through 8th grade, and Windham High School in Willimantic, CT, through graduation. Robert, better known as Bob, began his post-secondary studies at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, and earned his teaching certificate from Eastern Connecticut State College. In between he had several life-defining interludes, including returning to help work on the farm after the death of his father, serving in the U.S. Army toward the end of World War II, and starting a family with Doris Marie Rigby. Bob and Doris met while in school at UConn, and were married on June 30, 1951. He was a loving and supportive father to their seven children, Kathleen, Karen, Paul, Bethany, Matthew, Marietta, and Sarah. He spent most of his professional career as a teacher, together with Doris, at the Lebanon Elementary School, in Lebanon, CT, where he enriched the lives of children through his love of nature, stories and music. He and Doris retired from teaching in 1990 and made a home in Saratoga Springs, NY, before landing in Wilmington, VT, to be closer to family. They spent their winters on the bike paths of Jekyll Island, GA, and enjoyed a lovely and lively retirement full of family, friends, and fun. Bob would have delivered his biography in a single sentence laced with wisdonm and wit, as he did with the many lessons he left his loved ones. It was one of his unique talents- to make every word meaningful, punctuated with a knowing smile. The richness of his life is difficult to capture in dates and milestones. For that, we turn to music. Bob was a musician, performer, and composer at every moment. He was a pianist from a boy. He had a beautiful tenor voice that settled into a rich baritone, and could speak and sing with a strength and resonance that commanded undivided attention. The ways he used these gifts throughout his life says much about his generosity and greatness. As a musician, Bob made his home on the piano bench. As a young man, he worked as an accompanist at a dance studio. He played for get-togethers with friends, and to accompany actors and singers for community theater groups. He would play time and again his children's favorites during family sing-alongs, inlcuding Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey, Sam You Made the Pants Too Long, and Side By Side (affectionately known as "Oh We Ain't"). There was never any question he knew a song or could play it- that didnt quite matter He accepted any song, and no matter how it was sung he would make your song beautiful. He played with panache, and when he played, all those gathered around joined together, hearts lifted, to sing, dance, play instruments, and make merry. His strong and sure fingers tinkling on the ivory keys provided the foundation for making joy, beauty and love. Robert also held center stage, as an actor and singer. He was an active member of community theater, mainly with Podium Players in Hebron and the Gilbert and Sullivan Workshop in Manchester, CT. In retirement he performed with the Deerfield Valley Players in Wilmington, VT. With his handsome good looks, tall and stately bearing and beautiful speaking and singing voice, he was often cast as the romantic lead in plays. The role that best describes Robert is that of King Arthur in Camelot- a man with strength, creativity, and vision, responsible to those in his care, faithful to his friends and deeply loving his wife. Robert was a king to all those whose lives he touched, and his memory will live on. The memorial service was held on Saturday June 25, at St. Peter's Church in Hebron, CT.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on July 1, 2016
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