Ernest Milton "Sonny" Horton, 84, passed away February 21, 2014. Sonny was born April 26, 1929, in Whitmire, SC, to Ernest Milton Horton and Minnie Suber Horton, but spent most of his childhood in Greenwood, SC.
Sonny graduated from Greenwood High School, where he was Vice-President of his Senior class and captain of the football team. He played in the Shrine Bowl, as well as being a captain of the first North-South football team. He was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, an Air Scout in World War II and served in the US military during the Korean War in 1953 and 1954. He graduated from Furman University in 1952, where he was a standout player and captain of the football team; his efforts on the field and his love of football are still remembered there today. He was inducted into both Greenwood Athletic Hall of Fame (where some of his records still stand to this day) and the Furman University Hall of Fame.
He and his wife have been longtime contributors to both academics and athletics at Furman University. The new Furman University Pearce Horton Football Complex is named in memory of William Charlie Pearce (Class of 1925) and E. M. "Sonny" Horton (Class of 1952). The Southern Conference made him the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Service Award for contributions to all aspects of the University. In 2003, he was the recipient of the Bell Tower Award, which is the University's highest honor.
He was an active member of First Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School for thirty years and served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Deacons. He was a member of the Poinsett Club, Greenville Country Club and the Sertoma Club. He was a salesman for the General Latex and Chemical Company for forty years. Following retirement, he enjoyed playing golf, spending time with his family and traveling the world with his wife.
He was always blessed by his good fortune in meeting and marrying Keeter, the love of his wonderful life. His friends knew him as a faithful, loving and devoted husband, a dedicated father, and a loyal, trustworthy companion with consistent integrity and an infectious laugh.
Surviving are his wife, Keeter Pearce Horton; two daughters and sons-in-law, Anne Horton and Lawrence Bernstorf of Westerville, OH, and Hollis and Jeff McCall of Greenville; daughter-in-law, Susan Horton Pennel of Winchester, VA; grandchildren, Grice Hunt III, Jamie Hunt, Laura and Katie Horton, Heather, Karen and Olivia McCall, and Kyle Bernstorf; and a sister, Emilie H. Caraway of Florida. He was predeceased by a son, Charlie Horton, in 2007, a daughter, Helen Horton Hunt, in 1989, and two sisters, Linda H. Cook and Patricia H. Hopkins.
Services will be Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Greenville, with the Rev. Dr. Baxter Wynn officiating. Private entombment will be prior to the service.
The family will receive friends Tuesday from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. at the church.
Serving as Honorary Pallbearers will be the Fellowship Sunday School Class of First Baptist and Joe Outten, Tom Mann, Jack Chandler, Bill Orders, Melvin Bell, Earle Furman, Charlie George and Ken Pettus.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Athletic Department of Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613, or First Baptist Church Greenville, 847 Cleveland St., Greenville, SC 29601.
The family expresses their heartfelt appreciation to the sitters of Restoring Angels for their kindness and love to Sonny.
The Mackey Mortuary, Century Drive
Published in The Greenville News from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24, 2014
311 CENTURY DR GREENVILLE, SC 29607