James Richard Horton, 81 of Southport, passed away on October 24, 2019.

Mr. Horton was born July 9, 1938 in Jefferson County, New York, to the late Maurice Pitt Horton and Jessie Lee Horton.

James, known as “Jim” to most, and “JR” to those he worked with, grew up in Henderson, New York alongside the shores of Lake Ontario where he spent many years of his adolescence working for boatmakers and fishermen.

He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science from The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. While attending school in Philadelphia he met the love of his life and future bride, Joan O’Donnell.

He served in the military from October 1961 to October 1963, and worked for several years for Fay’s Drugstore in New York state before moving to Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1979 to accept a position with VA Hospital. It was there that Jim was given the name “JR.” He not only found a job he loved, but also gained an extended family of friends that remained long after his retirement in 1999.

Upon retirement, Jim and Joan relocated to Southport. They sold their beloved beach cottage on Long Beach and began their life in the community of Arbor Creek. Throughout their 19 years in Arbor Creek they forged many friendships.

Jim had many hobbies and passions. He enjoyed playing golf for many years which then transitioned into family mini-golf tournaments in his later years. He enjoyed traveling, history, gardening, bird-watching, perseid meteor showers, a beautiful sunset, an ocean view, good ole’ country music, and lighthouses.

But what he loved most was family. He adored his wife and cherished their 54 years together. He loved his kids and was so proud of the accomplished adults they’ve become. He held his grandchildren on a pedestal and loved nothing more than spending time with them. The bond he had with his brother and sisters he held close to his heart. Those who were fortunate to meet him knew what a kind soul he truly was. His smile, his humor, and his love will be greatly missed.

Mr. Horton was preceded in death by his wife, Joan Ellen Horton, and a brother, Pete Horton.

Survivors include his three sons, James Horton of Key West, Florida, Paul Horton, and Timothy Horton and his partner Susan of Burgaw, North Carolina; a daughter Kathleen Horton and her partner Jeff of Southport, North Carolina; a brother, Harold Horton; two sisters, Ann Lee Lyons and Aletha Gregory; four grandchildren, Corine, Michael, Jacob, and Reynolds; several nieces and nephews; and extended family.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, November 2, at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral Home in Southport from 3 to 4 p.m. A celebration of life ceremony will follow at 4 o’clock at the funeral home’s chapel and a reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org or to the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane, Bolivia, NC 28422.

Online condolences may be made at www.peacocknewnamwhite.com.

Peacock - Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.