William (Bill) Leroy Horton was born May 24, 1948 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Howard William Horton and Mina Vanderveen. A Colorado Springs resident since the early 1980s, he passed away on Thursday, December 7, 2017 after a courageous battle with cancer.
After graduating from high school, he didn’t have plans to go into the Armed Forces, but received a draft notice and said he would at least get to pick which branch he went into, so he picked the United States Air Force. The scariest day of his life was when he was waiting in a room with five other guys to be sworn in. A sergeant from the Marines walked in a said, “you, you and you, come with me. You are Marines now.” He had a 50/50 chance of being chosen and was not. He would have had to go to Vietnam if he was chosen. After serving in the United States Air Force, he served with the 302 Air Force Reserve Unit At Peterson AFB and then went on to work in civil service at the 98th Flight Training Squadron at the United States Air Force Academy. He was a man of an impeccable work ethic and always had the mission in mind. He was a get it done kind of man and a man of the upmost integrity. He worked as an airplane mechanic and aircraft maintenance specialist. During his service he received the Army Achievement Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal w/10LO, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 20LO, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon.
His family was his pride and joy. In his free time he loved to fish and drive through the mountains, especially to see the leaves changing colors in the fall. He loved camping and listening to good music, and was a big Star Trek fan. He also loved woodworking and carpentry. He really enjoyed working with his hands. His favorite dogs were Cocker Spaniels and Beagles. He loved roses and tulips because his mother always had them in her garden when he was young.
He is survived by his children: Jackie (and David) and their daughter Sydney of Gig Harbor, Washington; William and his daughter, Rayshel, of Colorado Springs; a daughter, Kathleen (and Nick) of Pueblo West and a son, Christopher of Colorado Springs. He is also survived by his brother, Dennis (and Shirley) of Oklahoma, and a sister, Wanda Horton of Michigan. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Donald.
A memorial service will be Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 2 p.m. at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.