George Alfred Horton, Jr. 1927 ~ 2011
I look back on my life withabsolute wonder. I have been afforded opportunities and blessings beyond all imagination, for which I am profoundly grateful. I am the oldest son of George Alfred and Macel Rogers Horton and was born in Milford, Utah, on Feb. 23, 1927. I have the distinction of having been born in the town library, in which my mother was librarian and my parents had a small apartment. On May 2, 1952, I married Norma Sumsion of Springville, UT, whom I met while we were serving missions in Louisville, KY. This was the best decision I ever made. It has amazed me that, out of humble beginnings, I have been privileged to study at seven schools of higher education, receive advanced degrees at BYU and UCLA, teach in the Church Seminaries and Institutes and at BYUHawaii and Provo, and serve as director of the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. In the Church Education System (CES) I was privileged to serve as a district and division coordinator of Seminaries and Institutes for California Central. At the general level, I served as Director of Production and Distribution and also Director of Curriculum for CES. I give credit for any success to my mother, who nurtured me in my early Church activity; my father, who was a great exemplar of Christian virtues; my wife, who has loved, supported, "guided," and encouraged me in achieving the best; our children (Sharon [Steve Larson], Orange, CA; Sterling [Adrienne], Kailua, HI; Helen, Washington DC; Jo Ann [David Seely], Provo, UT; Roger [Teresa], Mesa, AZ; Scott [Debra], Philadelphia, PA; Holly [Joseph Jensen], South Jordan, UT; grandchildren (Christopher [Marisha] and Lindsay [Neal Call] Larson; Jennifer [Sean Medeiros], Michael [Tasha], Kristy [Aaron Scherman], Erin [Joshua Sandon], and Michelle Horton; Audrey, Brigham, Dallin [Sarah], and Russell Bastian; Rachel [Andrew Grover], Joseph, Kathryn, and Benjamin Seely; Heather and Corinne Horton; Emily, Hyrum, Grant, Hollianne, and Liam Horton; Jonathan and David Jensen); and great-grandchildren (Ayda and Evie Larson; Addison Call; Auli'i, Kai, and Koa Medeiros; Jaden and Maya Horton; Hannah Scherman; Taylor Sandon; Mary Elizabeth, Hannah Ruth, and Rachel Eve Bastian; Miriam and Samuel Grover) who have showered me with their love. After serving in the U.S. Navy, the first great turning point in my life was serving in the East Central States Mission (19491951). Other activity in the Church included teaching assignments, serving on writing committees, participating on five high councils, and serving as bishop of the Sherman Oaks (CA) Second Ward as well as branch and district president at the MTC in Provo and as president of the BYU Second Stake. It was my privilege to be a member of the four-man committee that prepared the final editions of the Topical Guide and Triple Index for the "new" LDS editions of the scriptures. I appreciate the skills of my doctors (James Clark, Douglas Smith, Jeff Groves, and Loran Cook) who should not go unrecognized. They have helped to extend my life and improve my well-being. I am survived by my wife, Norma, seven children, 24 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and brother William Richard (Delores) Horton. I have been preceded in death by two older half-brothers, Alfred Lowell Horton and Marvin Rollins Horton, and my youngest brother, Donald Earl Horton. I have unbounded gratitude to the Lord, who blessed me with a believing heart in early childhood. I have not feared death except for twinges of conscience that I could have lived a better life. I have an undying testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the divine power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, the sacred scriptures, and the immortality of the soul. I have a sure testimony of the appearance of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. I have great appreciation for all who have ministered for the gospel's sake and particularly for Joseph Smith. I have an outpouring of love for all my forebears, who made my heritage and blessings possible. There is gratitude in my heart for the inspiration from the Holy Spirit. It has assisted us in compiling our family history. I have loved my wife, parents, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildrenalso my wonderful neighbors, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances worldwide. I end with an expression of gratitude to my beloved wife, family, and teachers and have the faith that we shall soon meet again in a joyous reunion. God bless you all. /George/ George's passing took place on June 30, 2011. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 noon, Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at the Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 East North Temple Drive, Provo. Friends may call at the Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center, Tuesday evening from 6 until 8 and at the church Wednesday from 10:30-11:45 a.m. prior to services. Interment, Historical Springville Cemetery, at Fourth South and Second West, Springville, Utah. In lieu of flowers, if you care to, please make a donation to the LDS Church missionary fund. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.bergmortuary.com.